Ukraine works on lifting ban on use of Western weapons on Russian territories – Kuleba

Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian soldiers

Ukraine will continue to work with its allies to expand the use of Western weapons to strike at Russian territory, stated Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart on June 3.

Read also: ‘Could lead to fatal consequences’ – Russian FM on allowing Kyiv to use Western weapons against Russia

“Our partners have made a very correct step by lifting restrictions on the use of the weapons they provide to strike targets in Russia,” Kuleba said.

According to him, this does not mean that Ukraine has carte blanche, as there are rules that must be followed. However, the minister noted that the country will continue to work with partners to expand possibilities of Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Use of Western weapons on Russian territory

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The U.S. does not "encourage" Ukraine to use American weapons to strike Russian territory, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on May 17.

Foreign weapons should be used "to reclaim Ukrainian sovereign territory" and this should occur "specifically on Ukrainian territory," the Pentagon emphasized.

Ukraine likely received U.S. approval to use American weapons for strikes on Russian territory, Le Monde, analyzing statements by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv, reported.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine on May 3. London does not object to the use of its weapons for strikes on Russia, he added.

Read also: Western weapons strikes on Russia to impact frontline situation – Ukrainian military commander

Le Monde views Cameron and Blinken's statements as "a sign of a deliberate shift in the West's position" on this issue.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown provided evasive answers on May 20, when asked whether Ukraine could use American weapons to strike the aggressor country amid the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The New York Times on May 21, that he had asked the U.S. to allow Ukraine to use American missiles and other weapons on military targets inside Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated his opposition, on May 26, to Ukraine using Western weapons to strike Russian territory.

Swedish Defense Minister Paul Jonsson declared that Ukraine could use Swedish weapons for attacks on Russian territory.

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The AFP news agency, citing unnamed sources, reported that Ukraine had already used Western weapons to strike Russian territory several times, most recently in Krasnodar.

The New York Times on May 31 reported, citing unnamed White House officials, that US President Joe Biden, under pressure from his advisers and key allies, had authorized Ukraine to conduct limited strikes on Russian territory with US-made weapons.

On the same day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the White House had authorized Ukraine to strike Russian territory with US weapons.

US National Security Council spokesman Michael Carpenter told Voice of America that the US authorized Ukraine to strike Russian territory not only to protect Kharkiv from Russian attacks, but also to defend other Ukrainian regions.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine could strike at Russian territory using HIMARS, GMLRS, and American artillery shells. However, the green light from the United States does not include the use of ATACMS. They also clarified that the US is still against strikes deep into Russia.

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