The French leader has said he would not rule out a NATO military deployment to assist Ukrainian forces FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12, 2023. © AFP / Ludovic Marin

More than two-thirds of the French public believe President Emmanuel Macron was wrong to suggest that NATO could someday send its own troops to support Kiev in the conflict with Moscow, according to a new poll.

Survey results published on Thursday by French newspaper Le Figaro showed that 68% of respondents disapproved of Macron’s comments on a future NATO deployment to the war-torn state, while just 31% said they agreed and the remainder were undecided.

Macron stands by remarks on NATO troops in Ukraine Macron stands by remarks on NATO troops in Ukraine

Other key states in the US-led military bloc have similarly distanced themselves from Macron’s remarks, which were made on Monday following a meeting of European leaders in Paris. During a press briefing, the president said while there was “no consensus” among NATO members to send forces to Ukraine, “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything. We will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war.”

In the days since, the United States, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and other major members of the North Atlantic bloc have rushed to clarify that there were, as of yet, no plans to deploy any NATO troops to Ukraine.

Macon has nonetheless doubled down on his statement, telling reporters on Thursday that he meant what he said, and that his words were “weighed, thought-through and measured.”

However, some smaller members of the NATO bloc – namely Baltic states Estonia and Lithuania – appeared to back Macron, with senior officials from both countries suggesting that sending troops to Ukraine should not be ruled out.

Moscow has strongly condemned Macron’s remarks, cautioning the US-led alliance against taking further hostile moves. Should NATO troops actually be deployed to Ukraine, a direct confrontation between the alliance and Russia will become not only “possible,” but “inevitable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned. (RT)