WASHINGTON, Feb 28 — The White House said yesterday that the United States would not send troops to fight in Ukraine, after French President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out the dispatch of Western forces.

President Joe Biden “has been clear that the US will not send troops to fight in Ukraine”, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

The only US military personnel in Ukraine were with the American embassy in Kyiv “doing important work” on the accountability of weapons provided to Ukraine, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Kirby denied that US troops could be sent for demining, arms production or cyber operations, as French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne had suggested Western troops could be.

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He added that it would be a “sovereign decision” for France or any other Nato country whether to send troops to Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, asked whether the United States could send troops for other purposes such as training, said the Biden administration opposed any deployment to Ukraine.

“We’re not sending boots on the ground in Ukraine. The president’s been very clear,” Miller told reporters.

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Both the White House and State Department said the priority was for Congress to approve new military aid to Ukraine.

“Fundamentally, we think that the path to victory for Ukraine right now is in the United States House of Representatives,” Miller said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, an ally of former president Donald Trump and head of a razor-thin Republican majority, has refused to allow a vote on Biden’s request for about US$60 billion (RM285.7 billion) for Ukraine. — AFP