Macron not ruling out sending troops to Ukraine

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STORY: French President Emmanuel Macron opened the door on Monday to sending troops to Ukraine, after a meeting with European leaders that aimed to send Moscow a message of Western resolve over support for Kyiv.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Macron said while no consensus was reached on deployment, France could not rule out a potential later need for it to ensure Russia does not win the war.

"We should not exclude that there might be a need for security, which then justifies some elements of deployment. But I've told you very clearly what France maintains as its position, which is a strategic ambiguity that I stand by. Nothing should be excluded to pursue our goals."

Later, Slovakia's prime minister said several NATO and EU members were considering sending soldiers to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.

However, a White House official told Reuters that the United States had no plans to send troops to fight in Ukraine and that there were no plans to send NATO troops either.

The meeting in Paris was called by Macron to discuss how to ramp up material support for Ukraine, as French advisers warned of what they called an escalation in Russian aggression over the past few weeks.

Some 20 European leaders, as well as British foreign minister David Cameron and a representative from the U.S., took part.

The talks led to progress on a Czech-led initiative to buy ammunition from third countries.

Macron said France would back the plan and that a coalition to speed up delivery of long-range missiles had also been agreed.

While Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters, the Netherlands will contribute 100 million euros to the initiative.

"There was a great sense of urgency particularly for the short term, of ammunition and of air defence."

In his nightly public address, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he also took part in the meeting by video link, saying the main topic was to discuss how to beef up the country's "resilience and capabilities", including its arsenal.