London – The United Kingdom will be the first country to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles in response to Russia’s “continued aggression”, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced yesterday.
“The UK is going to deliver Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine,” Wallace told Parliament.
These cruise missiles have a range of more than 250 kilometers, more than any other weapon supplied to kyiv so far by Western countries.
“The donation of these weapons systems offers Ukraine the best chance to defend itself against continued Russian aggression, especially deliberate attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, which are contrary to international law,” the British minister said.
The Storm Shadow missile, jointly developed by the UK and France, is air-launched. With its long range, it has the ability to reach areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian forces.
“Ukraine has the right to be able to defend itself, the use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back the Russian forces based on Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Wallace stressed before the deputies.
Until now, Western powers have refused to supply such weapons, which would allow Ukraine to bomb inside Russian territory, for fear of an escalation of the conflict.
Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, admitted in an interview broadcast yesterday by the BBC that his Army needs more time to launch a far-reaching counteroffensive against the Russian occupation forces.
Ukraine has been preparing for months a major operation to recover territories, with the front line stuck in the east of the country, especially around the devastated city of Bakhmut.