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Col. Joe Buccino: The situation is grim for Ukraine

Col. Joe Buccino says every advantage accrues to Russia in the war against Ukraine on ‘Fox News Live.’

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Western allies have strongly rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion that European troop deployment to Ukraine remains an option.

“The Ukrainians haven’t asked for Western troops,” Kenneth J Braithwaite, former Secretary of the Navy in the Trump administration and former ambassador to Norway, told Fox News Digital. “Instead, during my recent travels to Ukraine, they reiterated their need only for continued military and humanitarian support as they courageously defend themselves from Russia’s aggression.”

“Over the last two years, we haven’t lost a single U.S. or NATO servicemember as Ukraine has thwarted Russia’s military assault,” Braithwaite said. “In turn, they have reduced Putin’s threat and menace to our own national security and those of our allies for ‘pennies on the dollar’ as to what it would be to directly engage.”

Macron suggested on Monday that Ukraine’s allies would “do everything needed, so Russia cannot win the war,” stressing that “nothing can be ruled out” and that European leaders had reached no consensus to “send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground.” 


However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press that “there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine,” adding that Ukraine has “the right to self-defense, and we have the right to support them in upholding that right” according to international law.

“NATO allies are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine. We have done that since 2014 and stepped up after the full-scale invasion,” Stoltenberg said in an interview published Tuesday. 

Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron, center right, delivers a speech at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. More than 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials are gathering in a show of unity for Ukraine, signaling to Russia that their support for Kyiv is not wavering as the full-scale invasion grinds into a third year. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP)

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne clarified Macron’s comments, saying that support for Ukraine “must respond to very specific needs,” citing concerns of cyberdefense, weapon production and ordinance clearance, but that the troops would not deploy for combat purposes. 

“Some of [support] actions could require a presence on Ukrainian territory, without crossing the threshold of fighting,” Sejourne said in a statement to reporters. “Nothing should be ruled out. This was and still is the position today of the President of the Republic.” 


European leaders and other Western officials met this week in Paris to discuss Ukraine and show support amid criticism that they had fallen short of their commitments and concerns that aid might diminish in the third year of the war as fatigue sets in as a greater concern. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the gathered allies and admonished them for sending only “30%” of the “million shells promised to use by the European Union.” 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are seen after the signing ceremony of the security cooperation agreement. (Ruslan Kaniuka / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Macron urged his allies to heed the “wake-up call” and make “strong decisions” to support Ukraine, insisting that “we can do more: more in budgetary support, more in military support,” according to Politico. 

The United Kingdom underscored its opposition to any troop deployments to Ukraine. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday said “we haven’t got any plans for large-scale deployment.” 


The spokesperson noted that some personnel remain in Ukraine to support the armed forces, and Ukrainian troops have also trained in Britain and London.

German Chancellor Olaf Sholz also stressed that “there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil who are sent there by European states or NATO states.” 

Ukraine EU

Ukraine has received approval for expedited talks on joining the EU, but the lengthy process could still take over a decade to complete. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Tuesday also underscored a commitment to keep troops out of Ukraine, saying his country “certainly doesn’t want to send its soldiers.” 

The NATO alliance has so far provided Ukraine with non-lethal aid, such as medical supplies and winter equipment, while individual members have made deals to provide weapons and training to Ukrainian troops. 


Several European countries at the Monday summit supported a plan by the Czech Republic to buy ammunition shells for Ukraine outside the European Union. Macron also announced plans for a new coalition to acquire and deliver medium- and long-range missiles. 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news. 

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