Finnish foreign minister supports Macron’s stance on keeping options open regarding troops in Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron was right to try and maintain ambiguity on the issue of troops in Ukraine, according to Finland’s foreign minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron has taken the correct approach by attempting to preserve “strategic ambiguity” to keep Russia guessing about whether Western forces may actually deploy troops to Ukraine, said Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen. Speaking to the Financial Times on Sunday, Valtonen supported the stance taken by France’s president on deploying troops to back Kiev against Moscow, arguing however that there was no urgent need to send them in currently. “Now’s not the time to send boots on the ground, and we are not even willing to discuss it at this stage. But, for the long term, of course we shouldn’t be ruling anything out,” Valtonen stated. The ambiguous approach to the issue shown by Paris is appropriate, as it supposedly keeps Moscow guessing about the extent of Western support for Ukraine and about NATO countries’ willingness to actually enter the conflict with Russia, the minister suggested. “Why would we, especially not knowing where this war will go and what happens in the future, disclose all our cards? I really wouldn’t know,” she argued.

Another smaller NATO alliance member, Lithuania, has expressed a similar sentiment, with its PM Ingrida Simonyte also speaking highly of Macron’s purported effort to maintain “strategic ambiguity” with Russia. “What I liked about two recent announcements of President Macron is that he said that actually why should we impose ourselves red lines when Putin basically has no red lines?” she told FT. In recent weeks, Macron has repeatedly sent shockwaves throughout the entire US-led bloc by repeatedly making belligerent statements about the prospects of sending troops to Ukraine to fight Russia. The French president first touched on the matter late last month, stating that “we cannot exclude anything” and that the West “will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war.” The remarks, which Macron described later on as having been “weighed, thought-through, and measured,” prompted a wave of denial from a vast majority of NATO states and from the bloc itself. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg publicly refuted the idea shortly after Macron’s initial statement, saying that no plans to deploy troops to Ukraine existed. Numerous Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have also denied the existence of such plans.