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White House: Zelensky isn't asking for US troops in Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert March 6, 2024 12:42 AM 2 min read
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby addresses reporters behind a podium at the White House.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The United States will not send troops to fight on the ground in Ukraine, nor has President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for such assistance, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said at a White House press briefing March 5.

French President Emmanuel Macron caused an outcry among Western allies when he said on Feb. 26 that the possibility of deploying troops to Ukraine could not "be ruled out," prompting many leaders to insist they would never consider such a measure.

"There’s not going to be U.S. troops on the ground fighting inside Ukraine," Kirby told reporters, speaking on behalf of U.S. President Joe Biden.

"And you know what?  President Zelensky isn’t asking for that.  He's just asking for the tools and capabilities.  He’s never asked for foreign troops to fight for his country."

Kirby again urged lawmakers to pass the supplemental funding package currently tied up in Congress. The bill would provide $61 billion in military aid, support desperately needed by Ukrainian troops facing ammunition shortages on the front line.

Czech president reportedly calls to continue discussion on sending Western troops to Ukraine
Czech President Petr Pavel said that he is in favor of looking for new ways to support Ukraine, including potentially sending troops for “non-combat engagement,” Czech media reported on March 5.

Ukrainian soldiers "need the tools, and that's what we need to help with," Kirby said.

Kirby warned on March 4 that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "taking advantage" of the funding delay to press his troops forward in Ukraine.

The U.S. has been consistent in its stance against committing troops to Ukraine, but the months-long delay in aid represents a dramatic shift from what was once Kyiv's strongest ally.

Macron has called on European allies to fill the gap in international support, saying on Jan. 30 that the E.U. "must be ready to act to defend and support Ukraine whatever it takes and whatever America decides.”

European leaders have largely rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine. Macron has not walked back his statements, and on March 5 he called on Ukraine's allies "not to be cowardly."

West’s response to Macron comments on troops to Ukraine reveal discord, weakness, experts say
French President Emmanuel Macron was left on his lonesome by his fellow European allies after saying that the possibility of sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine should not be “ruled out” in the future. Macron made the remarks on Feb. 26 at a gathering of 20 European heads
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