No Reason to Fear: Kallas Supports Sending Western Troops to Ukraine

by Roman Cheplyk
Monday, May 20, 2024
No Reason to Fear: Kallas Supports Sending Western Troops to Ukraine

NATO member countries should not be afraid to send their troops to Ukraine, as this would not necessarily involve the Alliance in a war with the Russian Federation, said Estonian Prime Minister Kaia Kallas in a comment to the Financial Times

Key Points:

  • Training and Risk:

    • Kallas mentioned that some countries are already training soldiers on the ground in Ukraine at their own risk.
    • She clarified that an attack by Russian forces on these training personnel would not automatically trigger Article 5 of NATO, which concerns collective defense.
    • "I can't imagine that if somebody gets hurt there, those who sent their people will say, 'This is Article 5. Let's ... bomb Russia.' That's not how it works. It doesn't happen automatically. So these fears are not justified," noted the Prime Minister.
  • Western Leaders' Perspective:

    • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, C.K. Brown, indicated that Western leaders might eventually decide to send soldiers to Ukraine.
    • Kallas emphasized that such a decision in Estonia would require parliamentary approval but added, "we should not rule anything out now."
  • Russian Propaganda:

    • Kallas pointed out that Russian propaganda already claims a war with NATO, so no further excuse is needed for their aggression. "No matter what we do from our side... If they want to attack, they will attack," she said.
  • Statements from Other Leaders:

    • Estonian Deputy Foreign Minister Küllike Syllaste-Elling suggested that Western allies should be open to discussing the idea, initially proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, of sending NATO troops to Ukraine.
    • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the North Atlantic Alliance does not plan to send troops to Ukraine, and Kyiv has not made such a request.
    • Czech President Petr Pavel, who initially rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine, later stated that it would not violate any international norms after discussing the matter with Macron.

Prime Minister Kallas's comments underline a cautious yet proactive approach, suggesting that NATO countries should consider all options without fear of automatic escalation to full-scale war.

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