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Majority disagree with Macron’s comments on sending NATO troops to Ukraine – poll

The French president has refused to rule out the possibility of deploying NATO troops to help Kiev’s forces

A majority of French people believe President Emmanuel Macron’s increasingly hawkish stance on Russia is dangerous and will only increase tensions with Moscow, a new poll has found.

Some 57% of respondents believe Macron was “wrong” to “raise his voice against Russia” with recent remarks about deploying troops to Ukraine and calls to provide more support to Kiev, according to a survey by French broadcaster BFMTV.

Macron received a stern backlash in February after he suggested that the West “cannot exclude” the possibility of sending soldiers to aid Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

Several NATO member states quickly repudiated Macron’s remarks, asserting that they would put no boots on the ground in Ukraine. Macron, however, later doubled down on his original statement, arguing that his words were “weighed, thought-through, and measured.”

According to the poll, a majority of French citizens believe his remarks not only increase tensions between France and Russia, but also create disagreements between France and its allies.

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The survey also showed that 54% of French people believe that Paris must continue to help Ukraine, but it should not get “too far involved” in the conflict and risk direct confrontation with Russia, “even if it means a defeat for Ukraine.”

Some 21% of respondents said Ukraine should be left to fight its battles on its own, without outside help.

The French public was also divided on the matter of a security pact that Macron signed with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last month. The deal envisages France providing military aid to Kiev amounting to €3 billion in 2024. 


READ MORE: NATO chief refutes Macron comment

The poll found that 51% of respondents were opposed to the aid package, while 49% were in favor. Approval for sending the aid strongly correlated with the financial circumstances of respondents, with 62% approval among the wealthiest, and only 34% among the poorest.

The survey was conducted among 1,005 French residents aged 18 or older between March 12 and 13.

 

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