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Sending NATO troops to Ukraine unlikely despite Macron's remarks

Sending NATO troops to Ukraine unlikely despite Macron's remarks
TITLE PLACEHOLDER | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

Are Western troops likely to end up on the ground in Ukraine?

If Western troops we mean NATO troops, I think it is very, very unlikely indeed. All this is a big flap in response to a question the French President, Emmanuel Macron, said it wasn't off the table, something needed to be thought about. The German chancellor almost immediately clapped Macron back. Didn't really need to do that. You already had the NATO secretary general, others saying more needs to be done to support the Ukrainians, more economic support, more military support, need to get the Americans to tee up for 2024. Most of NATO is all there. But of course, Macron, when he gets frustrated, he gets flustered. He likes to make a name. He likes to make headlines. Got a little trouble for that. It was a bit of an own goal. We've seen that before. But I don't think there's actually that much news being made.

How might Sweden's entry into NATO reshape defense policies and military partnerships in the region?

Well, let's keep in mind that unlike countries like Finland and Poland and the Baltics, which are front line NATO countries vis a vis Russia, Sweden is not. That's one of the reasons why their total defense spend was something like 1.2% of GDP. They will ramp that up significantly. They will reach 2% quickly and not that hard for them to do. They're small economy and very wealthy now that they are finally joining NATO. They also are very good in terms of military equipment. They have a significant defense industry and they export a lot of it. They work closely with NATO allies. So in that regard, they'll be quite significant. I think they matter. But, you know, again, it's a small country. It's really the symbolic fact that the NATO is expanding and continuing to expand because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Is Saudi Arabia poised to assist Zelensky in advancing his peace plan?

Well, the Saudis did host the most successful one of the most widely attended peace meetings for Ukraine so far. The Russians weren't there, but the Chinese were, as opposed to the meeting that just occurred in Switzerland a little over a month ago. They've also helped to facilitate transfers of POWs between the Russians and Ukrainians. That's very far from saying that we have diplomacy that's going to work, especially because Putin sees no reason. He thinks he's doing well right now and he can't wait to see what happens in the US elections in November. So I don't think there's much going on. But the Saudis certainly want to show that they want to be useful. And it's not just there. It's of course also in their own backyard. They get a lot of money, a lot of leadership. They are leading the GCC. It's a country everybody needs to pay attention to. Certainly very far from where they were a few years ago.


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