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France, Poland Cannot Speak for NATO - Italian Defense Minister

© AFP 2023 / LUDOVIC MARINFrench President Emmanuel Macron. File photo
French President Emmanuel Macron. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.03.2024
ROME (Sputnik) - France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance's intervention in the conflict would "erase the path to diplomacy," Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, published on Sunday.
Following a Paris-hosted conference on Ukraine on February 26, Macron said Western leaders had discussed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and, although no consensus had been reached in this regard, nothing could be ruled out. On Friday, Polish Defense Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine "was not unthinkable," adding that he appreciated Macron's initiative on the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Poland needed to build a large airport for the transfer of NATO troops.
"France and Poland cannot speak on behalf of NATO, which formally and voluntarily did not intervene in the conflict from the very beginning. Sending troops to Kiev is a step toward unilateral escalation that will erase the path to diplomacy," the Italian minister said.
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European countries continue to support Kiev, but it is important to intensify diplomatic efforts to help Ukraine regain its freedom, territory and security, the minister added.
Western countries have been providing military and financial aid to Kiev since the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The Kremlin has consistently warned against continued arms deliveries to Kiev, saying it would lead to further escalation of the conflict. In April 2022, Russia sent a diplomatic note to all NATO countries on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russian strikes.
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