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'Last resort': Netherlands chief of defense on sending troops to Ukraine

'Last resort': Netherlands chief of defense on sending troops to Ukraine Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

There is currently no sense in discussing the deployment of troops from Western countries to Ukraine, but allies should consider all possible options, says Chief of Defense of the Netherlands General Onno Eichelsheim.

According to him, it is "not timely" for the Netherlands to discuss sending soldiers to Ukraine.

"I think you should not rule out any option to see how best to support Ukraine," Eichelsheim says.

The top general of the Netherlands has emphasized that sending troops to Ukraine is a "last resort" and has not been publicly considered so far. He admitted that the theoretical scenario of deploying troops should occur within a coalition, such as through NATO or a group of 10-15 countries.

"It would be very strange if one or two countries were to do this," he adds.

Eichelsheim also notes that there are other ways to help Ukraine, such as sending more weapons.


On February 26, a working meeting of about 20 European leaders took place at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Conference participants discussed ways to counter Russia and possible ways to assist Ukraine in confronting the aggressor in the context of the recent escalation of the situation on the front lines.

In particular, during the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron did not rule out NATO deploying troops to assist Ukraine. The main problem, according to him, is the lack of consensus on this issue.

However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opposed sending NATO or EU troops to Ukraine, and Czechia and Poland also did not consider such an option.

Spain and Italy also disagreed with France's proposal to send ground troops to Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was categorical, stating that "there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine."