French land forces are ready to respond to any threat as they prepare for even "the toughest engagements", their commander said in remarks published Tuesday.

The statement from ground army chief of staff General Pierre Schill comes after President Emmanuel Macron said he would not rule out dispatching ground troops to help Ukraine fight Russia.

The French army "is ready", Schill wrote in an op-ed piece in French daily Le Monde.

"However the international situation may evolve, French people can be certain that their soldiers stand ready to respond," he said.

Schill said a display of French military capabilities would help to "deter any attack on France".

"To protect itself from any attack and to defend its interests, the French army is preparing for even the toughest engagements," he said.

He quoted the Latin adage "si vis pacem, para bellum" -- "if you want peace, prepare for war".

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Schill said that France could engage a division of 20,000 troops in a coalition within 30 days and could itself command an army of around 60,000 soldiers by joining other allied nations.

The French army says it counts 121,000 soldiers and can call up 24,000 reservists.

Schill did not specifically refer to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the risk of the conflict spreading. But he said "the sources of crisis are multiplying and carry with them risks of spiralling or extending".

His comments are the latest stark assessment of the situation by a top European military commander.

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The objective of the Summit was to develop strategies that would enhance support for Ukraine and safeguard its interests amid unparalleled security and existential threats.

Britain's chief of the general staff, General Patrick Sanders, said in January that British citizens should be prepared to fight in a potential land war.

Sweden's army chief Micael Byden also alarmed many of his compatriots when he said "Swedes have to mentally prepare for war".

Macron's stance toward Russian President Vladimir Putin has been hardening, with the French leader recently describing Putin as a threat not just to Ukraine but to the security of all Europeans.

France has also blamed Russia for a flurry of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

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Macron, who has stated repeatedly that "Russia cannot win this war", shocked European allies in February by refusing to rule out the sending of Western ground troops.

He has also described the Ukraine war as "existential" for Europe.

However, French deputies and experts have worried publicly about a lack of equipment and ammunition which they say would cut short any direct confrontation with a strong enemy after only a few months.

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Comments (5)

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hans
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We stand with Ukraine! We are pressuring our congressmen to pass the bill to fund aid to Ukraine. Russia must not be allowed to invade neighboring countries with impunity. Putin must be defeated, arrested and stand trial at the Haig for crimes against humanity.

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Phil
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What ?? We (France) are "ready" - but we only have a few months of ammo . . . ??

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Stockholm
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I see the Kyiv Times is including humor columns now.
This was one of the funniest.

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John
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Russia has been staging a one sided war against all democratic allies for decades. It's a hybrid war. What is included in a hybrid war?



1. Steal assets and disrupt critical infrastructure with cybercrime tools.


2. Sow dissent over the internet and other media, to make citizens and international allies distrust and dislike each other.


3. Support the ascent of an autocrat's cronies into key foreign leadership roles (political, legal, regulatory, educational, corporate media).


4. Foment coups, genocide and social strife abroad and then support resulting refugee streams towards democratic borders to destabilize them and sow further economic and domestic chaos.


5. Eliminate voices of opposition both domestically and abroad via murder or fake accusations concocted to discredit.



Incredibly, all of the above for some reason are still not considered by our old school leadership as being sufficient to trigger NATO's article 5. As such all democratic nations hopes lie instead in supporting Ukraines' rightful military defence.

We have every legal and moral right to join Ukraine's fight to restore its borders.

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Sasha
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France beats everyone when it comes to chatting!

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