Ukraine war: USA allows attacks on Russia with US weapons

Ukraine war: USA allows attacks on Russia with US weapons

Ukraine has repeatedly demanded to be allowed to use Western weapons to attack military targets in Russia. Now the first agreement has been made. Will more follow? It is uncertain.

According to consistent US media reports, the US government has quietly given Ukraine permission to use US weapons on a limited scale against targets on Russian territory. This applies exclusively to counterattacks in defense of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the news magazine “Politico” and the broadcaster CNN reported on Thursday. The Ukrainian military should be able to take action against Russian forces “that attack them or are preparing to attack them,” Politico quoted a US government official as saying.

NATO states discuss Ukraine’s use of weapons

Whether Ukraine should be able to use all weapons supplied by the West to attack military targets in Russia is currently the subject of controversial debate among NATO countries. Ukraine has been demanding this for some time in order to combat Russian positions more effectively in the war that has been going on for more than two years. So far, the country has mainly used its own missiles and drones for this purpose. Western weapons have so far been aimed primarily at Russian positions in the areas of Ukraine occupied by Moscow.

According to information from alliance circles, countries such as the USA and Germany have linked the handover of certain systems to strict conditions for their use. The background to this is the fear that the conflict with Russia could escalate further and NATO could become a party to the war. According to military officials, the conditions specifically include the fact that Ukraine is not allowed to shoot down Russian fighter planes in Russian airspace with Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems in order to prevent them from firing missiles or glide bombs at Ukraine.

International law covers the action

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at a possible change of course on the issue. During a visit to Moldova, he signaled that the US might move away from its rigorous opposition to Ukrainian strikes against targets on Russian soil. Since the beginning of the war, the US government has constantly adapted its support for Ukraine to the changing conditions on the battlefield “and improved it where necessary,” he said. “And that is exactly what we will continue to do in the future.”

The US is listening, learning and constantly making new decisions about what is needed to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself effectively, Blinken stressed in Moldova. His comments attracted great interest at a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Prague on Thursday – as well as in the Kremlin. According to experts, international law allows attacked states to attack aggressors on their own territory in order to defend themselves. Where the weapons come from is not relevant from a purely legal point of view.

The USA is the most important supplier of weapons to Kiev – so the course the Americans take is of particular importance. The USA has so far made its weapons available to Ukraine so that it can liberate its occupied territories, but not for attacks on military targets in Russia itself. The general US position that Ukraine should not use American weapons for offensive attacks against Russian targets has not changed – despite the exception that has now been made public.

Source: Stern

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