France to send troops to Romania amid fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Romania is a high tension zone, French Defence Minister says.


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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Sat 29 Jan 2022, 7:58 PM

France plans to send several hundred soldiers to Romania as part of a possible deployment on NATO's eastern flank, Defence Minister Florence Parly said Saturday amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron had recently expressed France's "readiness to go further, and within the framework of NATO to commit to new missions... in particular in Romania".

Parly told France Inter radio she had visited Romania on Thursday to discuss the issue.

She said Romania was a "high tension zone" which had to be "reassured".

"We will have a meeting very soon with NATO members," she said, adding that Paris planned to send "several hundred men" to Romania as part of a "defensive alliance".

The Kremlin has deployed over 100,000 troops and heavy armour along Ukraine's borders, according to the West, which fears that the Kremlin will stage an incursion.

French Foriegn Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Saturday said he would visit Ukraine on February 7-8 with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

"I have reassured Dmytro Kuleba (the Ukrainian foreign minister) of our full backing and solidarity with Ukraine," he said.

Moscow has demanded wide-ranging security guarantees, including that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.

Those demands have been the subject of intensive negotiations, with the West warning of far-reaching consequences if diplomacy fails and Russia attacks.

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