Czechs and Poles not considering sending troops to Ukraine

By Thomson Reuters Feb 27, 2024 | 4:40 AM

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech Republic and Poland are not considering sending troops to Ukraine, their prime ministers said on Tuesday following a Paris meeting where that option for European nations was left open.

French President Emmanuel Macron raised the possibility on Monday of European nations sending troops to Ukraine, saying “nothing should be excluded”.

Macron cautioned, though, that there was no consensus at this stage while allies agreed to ramp up efforts to deliver more munitions to Kyiv as its fight against Russia’s invasion enters a third year.

Asked about Macron’s comments, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk said the option was not being considered by their governments.

“I am convinced that we should develop the paths of support that we embarked on after Russia’s aggression,” Fiala told a news conference alongside Tusk as they met in Prague on Tuesday.

“I believe we do not need to open some other methods or ways,” Fiala said, noting the current focus was on military aid as well as humanitarian and economic support.

Tusk added: “Poland does not plan to send its troops to the territory of Ukraine.”

“I think that we should not speculate today whether there will be circumstances that could change this position,” he said.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who has opposed military aid to Ukraine, had said before Macron’s meeting in Paris that several NATO and EU members were considering sending soldiers to Ukraine on a bilateral basis. He said that would escalate the conflict.

A White House official told Reuters on Monday that the United States had no plans to send troops to fight in Ukraine and that there were also no plans for NATO to send troops to fight in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet in Prague, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Christina Fincher)