Russia threatens NATO and warns that conflict with the West will be "inevitable" if it deploys troops to Ukraine

The ultimatum came in response to a recent statement by French President Emmanuel Macron, who suggested the possibility of trying to help Volodomir Zelensky on the battlefield.

Russia directly threatened the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After French President Emmanuel Macron recently floated the idea of ​​sending troops to Ukraine to help contain the invasion, the Kremlin assured that any movement of troops by the West would trigger an "inevitable" conflict.

During a meeting of 27 European leaders to address the future of the war, Macron noted that while "today there is no consensus to officially send troops on the ground [...] nothing can be ruled out." His comments set off alarm bells in Moscow, and the response quickly arrived.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters that, should Western forces join the conflict in Ukraine, conflict would be "inevitable."

"In this case, we must not speak of probability, but of inevitability (of the conflict). These countries must also evaluate and be aware of this, asking themselves whether this corresponds to their interests, as well as the interests of the citizens of their countries," Peskov added.

NATO moved away from France's position

Despite the escalation in rhetoric, representatives from the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and NATO itself denied that the possibility of sending troops was on the table.

Indeed, France was the only country that did not wholly rule out sending troops to Ukraine through its head of state and foreign affairs official, Stéphane Séjourné. According to the official, "the presence of Western troops in Ukraine would not cross any threshold of belligerence."

Séjourné even cited examples of non-war missions carried out by uniformed personnel. For instance, he spoke about demining, security of neighboring countries such as Moldova, the fight against cyber attacks, support for Ukraine on its border with Belarus with non-military forces and joint manufacturing of weapons on Ukrainian soil.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of Norway declared from the alliance's headquarters in Brussels that no member of the bloc would send troops to Ukraine. Stoltenberg was blunt in his position. "There are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine," the alliance's secretary general clarified. "NATO allies are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine. We have done it since 2014, and we intensified it after the invasion," he added.