French President Emmanuel Macron has openly discussed the possibility of sending European troops to Ukraine to help Kyiv win the war against Russia, a potential major escalation to the largest ground war Europe has seen since World War II.

Though the possibility of Western democracies deploying the forces in Ukraine remains remote, Macron’s comments following a summit in support of Ukraine prompted a hawkish response from the Kremlin and sent European leaders scrambling to backtrack. A NATO official said that the alliance had “no plans” to deploy combat troops in Ukraine.

Macron did, however, announce that a new coalition would be created to supply Ukraine with medium-range and long-range missiles. With American funding for Ukraine held up at the moment, the

burden has shifted to Europe to help arm Ukraine as it attempts to fend off a resurgent Russian military. 

Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines say they are already running low on ammunition, which has cost them on the battlefield. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a recent interview that “millions” could die if Washington fails to supply his country with more aid.

Macron's comments also risked exacerbating tensions between France and Germany, whose relationship forms the core of European political cooperation. He appeared to goad Berlin over its initial reluctance to send offensive weapons to Ukraine, noting that some countries two years ago had only wanted to send "sleeping bags and helmets".

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