Macron urges Ukraine's allies not to be 'cowards'

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged Ukraine's allies not to be "cowards" in supporting the country to fight off the Russian invasion.

He added that he "fully stood behind" controversial remarks made last week not ruling out the deployment of Western troops to Ukraine, which sent a shockwave around Europe.

"We are surely approaching a moment for Europe in which it will be necessary not to be cowards," Macron said on a visit to the Czech Republic, which is pushing a plan to buy weapons outside Europe for Ukraine.

Speaking later after meeting his Czech counterpart Petr Pavel, he asked: "Is this or is it not our war? Can we look away in the belief that we can let things run their course?"

"I don't believe so, and therefore I called for a strategic surge and I fully stand behind that," Macron said.

Most of Macron's European allies said they would not send troops to Ukraine after his comments on Feb. 26.

The White House said Tuesday that Ukraine had never sought Western troops.

"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," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington.

Germany's defence minister said Macron's quotes were not helpful.

"We don't need really, from my perspective at least, discussions about boots on the ground or having more courage or less courage," Boris Pistorius said at a press conference in Stockholm after meeting with his Swedish counterpart Pal Jonson.

"This is something which does not really help solve the issues we have when it comes to helping Ukraine," he added.

French officials have said that Western forces could be...

Continue reading on: