Italy urges Macron send weapons, not soldiers to Ukraine

Roke: The French President ignited an EU debate on sending troops to Ukraine, facing criticism. Italian parties oppose intervention, yet the government plans new military aid. Deputy PM Salvini and former PM Conte unite for “peace.”
Macron’s interventionism. In an interview with The Economist, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his decision not to rule out sending troops to Ukraine. He explained that France would only intervene on the ground if Russia managed to break through the front lines and the government in Kyiv requested assistance.

The French president’s remarks sparked an international debate, prompting allies such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and United States National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson to deny the possibility of sending troops.

A clear no from Italy. The Italian government, led by Giorgia Meloni, has previously commented on the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine. They stated, “[t]he support from allies to Kyiv does not involve the presence of troops from European or NATO countries on Ukrainian territory.”
On Monday, Defence Minister Guido Crosetto refuted the idea of sending Italian troops to Ukraine, urging the French ally not to escalate tensions.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani echoed this sentiment and emphasised that Italy was not at war with Russia and would not send soldiers to fight in Ukraine. However, he affirmed Italy’s support for Ukraine’s independence.

The Salvini-Conte entente. Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini has taken a harder line in the attempt to position himself as a right-wing pacifist ahead of the upcoming European elections.

The leader of the League described Macron as “dangerous and desperate” and rejected his proposal.

Former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, leader of the Five Star Movement, also criticised both Macron and the Meloni government. “I worked with President Macron for three years,” he stated. “He has flaws and qualities, and one of his qualities is that he is not a hypocrite, unlike our leaders who are deriding us. Macron is saying, ‘Look, if we have chosen this military strategy now, we are also forced to send troops,’” added Conte, describing the French president’s position as “a grave mistake.”
Meanwhile, the Italian government is preparing its ninth military aid package for Ukraine, which includes a new Samp-T air defence system battery.