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France, Lithuania, Ukraine Discuss NATO Troops for Kiev Regime

March 10, 2024 (EIRNS)—French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné was in Lithuania on on March 8, where, Politico reported, he was engaged in building an alliance of countries open to potentially sending Western troops to Ukraine—and, in the process, deepening its clash with a more cautious Berlin (as well as risking an escalation into World War III, though Politico never says that.)

Séjourné met his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts in order to buttress the idea that foreign troops could end up helping Ukraine in areas like demining. “It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years,” Séjourné said at a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, and attended by his Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “It is not for Russia to organize how we deploy our actions, or to set red lines. So we decide it among us.”

Séjourné repeatedly referred to mine clearance operations as a possibility, saying it “might mean having some personnel, [but] not to fight.”

Séjourné raised concerns about Moscow setting its sights on the Baltic countries, which used to be part of the Soviet bloc, but are now members of the EU and NATO, the Politico report continues. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis echoed Séjourné. “There cannot be any ‘buts.’ We must draw red lines for Russia, not ourselves. No form of support for Ukraine can be excluded. We need to continue supporting Ukraine wherever it’s most needed,” he said.

But the most provocative was Dmytro Kuleba, who said he was “fed up” with fears of escalation. “Our problem is that we still have people who think of this war in terms of the fear of escalation,” he said. “What kind of escalation are you afraid of? What else has to happen to Ukraine for you to understand that this fear is useless? What do you expect Putin to do? ‘Well I sent tanks but I did not send the missiles or troops, so maybe you’ll be nicer to me than to others?’ That’s not how Putin thinks, that’s not how he treats Europe.” Rumors began circulating yesterday that Zelenskyy is about to fire Kuleba.