French President Emmanuel Macron held confidential discussions with US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February, which he hoped would influence the West's stance on Russia's war against Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.

According to the report, during those talks, Macron advocated for a policy of strategic ambiguity towards Russia, arguing that it would keep all options open for the Western nations.

He proposed moving away from laying down clear red lines, as has up to now been done by the US, to prevent circumstances that could lead to an escalation of the war.

Unnamed officials cited by the WSJ reveal that Biden expressed skepticism about any need to alter the current strategy, citing concerns that such action also had the potential to lead to escalation.

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Scholz also opposed the idea, fearing it could sow discord among allies and drag NATO countries directly into the war.

In a February phone call, Macron outlined his stance to Biden and Scholz, offering to present it publicly at the Paris summit. However, Scholz cautioned against it, warning it had the potential to promote disunity among allies if Macron went ahead.

The discussions have recently intensified over suggestions that Western military personnel could deploy to Ukraine and how allies would have to respond if they were targeted by Russian attacks.

According to a US official, the Biden administration was concerned that Russia would target any French troops that might be sent to Ukraine which might result in France and possibly other Western countries being dragged into the war.

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Correcting himself, Biden said, “We’re gonna beat President Putin. President Zelensky.” Zelensky responded with a handshake, saying, “I am better,” Biden replied, “You are a helluva lot better.”

Macron assured allies that France wouldn't require NATO or US assistance if French troops were attacked, citing past military engagements in Africa.

Tensions rose again during the Feb. 26 summit at the Elysée Palace when Macron shared his views on current strategic uncertainty. Scholz and other leaders, including the Netherlands, Poland, and Greece, politely rebuffed the idea.

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The Estonian Prime Minister, however, voiced support for Macron's stance, emphasizing the importance of focusing on actions rather than limitations.

Despite facing considerable opposition during the summit, Macron maintained that “nothing can be ruled out” regarding troop deployments, despite the lack of consensus.

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