War in Ukraine: "France's strength is that we can do it", Macron still does not close the door on ground operations

War in Ukraine: “France’s strength is that we can do it”, Macron still does not close the door on ground operations

Emmanuel Macron confirmed in an interview published by Le Parisien on Saturday evening that ground operations in Ukraine by the West might be needed “at some point”.

“Maybe at some point – I don’t want it, I won’t take the initiative – it will be necessary to undertake operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter the Russian forces.” It is in these terms that Emmanuel Macron spoke in an interview Parisiantalked about possible ground operations in Ukraine.

“The strength of France is that we can do it,” he added. The French president returned from Berlin, where he met Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a show of unity between the three countries. Emmanuel Macron’s repeated statements, refusing to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine, have sown disarray among Paris’ allies, led by Germany, and drawn almost unanimous condemnation from France’s oppositions.

“There has never been any anger between the chancellor and me”

In his interview, the president ruled out any disagreement within the French-German couple on this issue. “I wanted to come to Germany very quickly so as not to create a debate about strategic differences that could exist: they don’t exist,” he explains. “There has never been any disagreement between the Chancellor and me. We have a very common vision of the objectives and the situation. It is the way of translating them that is different,” he continues, emphasizing in particular “the strategic cultures”. of the two countries.

“Germany has a strategic culture of great caution, of non-intervention, and keeps its distance from nuclear energy,” he explains. “A very different model from that of France, which has nuclear weapons and has maintained and strengthened a professional army,” he said again.

Meeting with Zelensky in the coming weeks

The French president added that he has given up a trip to Kiev to go to Berlin on Friday and meet Olaf Scholz and Donald Tusk. He assured that he would meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine before mid-March, a trip that had already been planned once for the month of February and then postponed. He now says his visit will take place in the coming weeks. He also emphasizes the complementarity of the assistance that France and Germany can provide.

“Germany spends more than France, has more budgetary space, which is fortunate. France can do things that Germany cannot,” he told Le Parisien, before putting things into perspective. “We should not be intimidated, we are not dealing with a great power. Russia is a medium power with nuclear weapons, but whose GDP is much lower than that of the Europeans, lower than that of Germany and France,” he said.

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