Macron postpones visit to Ukraine for third time in a row

French President Emmanuel Macron has indefinitely postponed for the third time a planned visit to Ukraine, Politico reports. The trip was originally scheduled for February, but was then postponed until mid-March. Now a statement from the presidential palace says the visit will take place “in the next few weeks”.

According to Politico’s sources, Macron now wants to set aside time for talks with allies to visit Ukraine “with tangible results”. “Some time is needed to [conclude] the various coalitions”, a French diplomat told the publication.

The day before, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejournet met with his counterparts from Ukraine and the Baltic states in Lithuania to discuss the idea of sending their troops to Ukrainian territory, including to help clear land mines.

French President Emmanuel Macron first mentioned the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine in late February. “Today there is no consensus on sending ground troops in an official, envisioned and approved way. But nothing can be ruled out in the future”, he said after a summit of EU leaders in Paris.The statement was deliberate, Macron explained a few days later, rejecting the criticism his words had drawn among allies including Germany: “These are quite serious issues; each of the words I say on this matter is weighed, thought out and calibrated”.

Vladimir Putin, speaking to the Federal Assembly after Macron’s statement, threatened nuclear weapons to “possible interventionists” who “should realize” that they “can hit targets on their territory”.

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