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Finland does not rule out sending Western troops to Ukraine

16.03.2024 13:30
Western countries should not rule out the idea of sending troops to Ukraine if the battlefield situation further deteriorates, Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen told Politico on Friday.
Finlands Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, welcoming his Polish counterpart in Helsinki, March 14, 2024.
Finland's Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, welcoming his Polish counterpart in Helsinki, March 14, 2024.Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

"It's important that we do not rule everything out for the long term, because we never know how serious the situation becomes," she said.

However, Finland is not currently willing to send its own troops or even ready to discuss it, Valtonen stressed.

She argued that increasing Western assistance to Ukraine is currently more important, emphasizing that "many European countries could do so much more."

Valtonen's remarks were the latest in a series of discussions about the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine that have been ongoing since French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that it should not be taken off the table.

His comments sparked a heated debate among allies, with many NATO members, including Germany and the U.S., emphatically rejecting the possibility.

Following Macron's suggestion, then-Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in February that he was not in favor of sending troops to Ukraine.

Niinisto has since been succeeded as president by former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who is an outspoken proponent of supporting Ukraine.

On Thursday, Valtonen and her Polish counterpart Radosław Sikorski discussed, among other issues, Russia's war against Ukraine when they met in Helsinki.

The talks covered further Western support for Ukraine, including "the involvement of both countries in comprehensive assistance" to the embattled country, according to the Polish foreign ministry.


Source: PAP, Kyiv Independent