'Couldn't stop the troop buildup' - Ukraine wants Biden to allow US-made weapons for use in strikes on Russia

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Ukrainian officials are pushing U.S. President Joe Biden to lift the ban on using American-made weapons to strike Russian territory, Politico reported.

This policy did not let them attack Russian soldiers’ positions while they were preparing for a large-scale march towards Kharkiv Oblast, thus saving many Ukrainian lives, the publication wrote.

A group of Ukrainian parliamentarians is in Washington this week seeking Congressional help to resolve the issue, which they say is precluding Ukraine's military action as Kyiv seeks to strike Russian military buildups along the border north of Kharkiv and Sumy oblasts.

Ukrainian officials have been watching Russian forces massing near the Ukrainian border for weeks, but Washington's policy has prevented them from using US-supplied weapons to launch a preemptive strike, Ukrinform said.

The Biden administration, while sending long-range weapons to Ukraine, tied the hands of Ukraine's military leadership by saying that they could not be used to strike inside Russian territory.

The White House policy limiting Ukraine's ability to strike military targets inside Russia now is the main problem, Servant of the People ruling party head, Davyd Arakhamia, said.

Russia is well aware of this limitation, and has been able to deploy at least 30,000 troops and equipment on the border without fear of being hit by US-supplied long-range tactical missile systems, which Ukraine has used with devastating effect against Russian forces inside Ukraine.

"We saw how their military was sitting one or two kilometers from the border inside Russia, and there was nothing we could do about it," said Oleksandra Ustinova, the head of a special temporary commission for arms control.

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The parliamentarians are part of a large group of Ukrainian lawmakers who will meet with a dozen Congressional Offices this week to try to enlist them in the battle to convince the White House to change its policy.

The British government canceled a similar restriction on the use of British weapons this month, which was announced by British Foreign Minister David Cameron during his visit to Kyiv.

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