“In this case, we need to talk not about the likelihood, but about the inevitability [of a conflict]. That’s how we evaluate it,” said Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.

“These countries must also evaluate and be aware of this, asking themselves whether this corresponds to their interests, as well as the interests of the citizens of their countries,” Peskov added.

Macron’s comments came at the tail end of a summit in Paris, where EU leaders gathered Monday to discuss ongoing support for Kyiv. Macron said defeating Russia is “indispensable” to Europe’s security and stability, and that EU leaders discussed the topic of Western troops in a “very free and direct” manner during the summit. 

A domestic backlash quickly grew Tuesday against Macron’s comments, and was followed by Western allies pushing back against the floated move to put soldiers into Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said leaders in Paris agreed that “everyone must do more for Ukraine,” but that “one thing is clear: There will be no ground troops from European states or NATO.”

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the U.K. has no plan for a “large-scale deployment” in Ukraine, and a Spanish government spokesperson said Madrid also disagrees with the idea of deploying European troops.

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