Emmanuel Macron called on European countries allied with Ukraine to “not be cowardly” in the face of a Russia which is extending the threat to the continent’s borders. The head of state continues to raise his voice after his comments on the possible sending of troops.

“We are certainly approaching a moment in our Europe where it will be appropriate not to be cowardly.” Emmanuel Macron set the tone during his visit to Prague, in the Czech Republic, this Tuesday March 5. This trip to Central Europe, during which the Head of State must notably discuss the issue of security and defense with his Czech counterpart Petr Pavel and Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is an opportunity to assert his positions previously held on the war in Ukraine.

From the first hours of his visit, Emmanuel Macron called on the allied countries of kyiv, and therefore those of Europe, to “not be cowards”, but on the contrary to “live up to History and courage that it implies” while the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has continued at the gates of Europe for two years. The President of the Republic also warned against “powers that have become unstoppable [which] are expanding the threat, attacking us more every day.”

Emmanuel Macron gives the impression of wanting to take more European leadership over the war in Ukraine. But he is also being firmer towards Russia, not failing to consider increasing aid sent to kyiv, including military troops. This declaration dated February 26, however, did not receive the support of other European and allied countries who have for the most part dissociated themselves from the comments of the head of state. The tenant of the Elysée also returned to this outing in the Czech press explaining that it was not an announcement or a decision, but only an answer to a question asked of him on sending troops: “I replied that nothing was excluded.”

“We are launching the debate and thinking about everything we can do to support Ukraine. I have always been clear about our framework: we are not at war against the Russian people and we refuse to enter into a logic of escalation” added Emmanuel Macron in the columns of the Czech daily Pravo. The tone is therefore rising, but the red line which requires not becoming belligerent still seems to be the limit not to be crossed for the French head of state.

The Elysée, like several ministers, including Stéphane Séjourné in Foreign Affairs and Sébastien Lecornu in Defense, had also clarified in the wake of Emmanuel Macron’s declarations that there was no question of sending combat troops, but rather instructors and other specialized forces, particularly in cyberdefense or weapons co-production.