Thu. Apr 25th, 2024
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the end of the conference in support of Ukraine, with European leaders and government representatives, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool

The potential deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine will lead to a “catastrophic scenario,” and could be interpreted as a “declaration of war” on Moscow, top Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev has said.

The Vice Speaker of Russia’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, offered his take on remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on the possibility of sending troops in a Telegram post on Tuesday. The approach exhibited by the French leader carries a risk of the situation devolving into a “catastrophic scenario,” Kosachev warned, stating that the move would not be tolerated by the Kremlin.

“This is the line beyond which it’s no longer just NATO’s involvement in the war – this has been happening for a long time, but can be interpreted as the alliance entering direct hostilities, or even as a declaration of war,” Kosachev wrote.

The senator’s comments echoed a statement made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said the move would make a direct collision between the US-led bloc and Moscow not only “possible,” but actually “inevitable.”

The idea of sending ground forces to Ukraine was raised by Macron on Monday while he was speaking to reporters after a meeting of European leaders in Paris. The president suggested that any scenario, including sending in troops, could not be ruled out, arguing that the West should stop at nothing to prevent Russia from prevailing over Ukraine.

“In terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything. We will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war,” he stated, while admitting that there was no consensus among NATO members on the troop issue.

The remarks prompted NATO allies to publicly reject the suggestion, with the bloc’s leadership insisting no preparations to send forces to Ukraine actually exist. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated there were “no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine,” and several members of the alliance, including the US, offered separate statements denying any such intent.