Blinken says US may allow Ukraine to strike Russia with US-supplied weapons — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Blinken says US may allow Ukraine to strike Russia with US-supplied weapons

Antony Blinken. Photo: EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

Antony Blinken. Photo: EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indicated during a trip to Moldova that the US may permit Ukraine to strike Russian territory with US-supplied weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Noting that Washington does not currently allow Kyiv to use ATACMS or other US-supplied weapons in targeted attacks on Russia itself, Blinken said that the Biden administration may “adapt and adjust” in the future, according to the changing situation in Ukraine.

The Biden administration has acknowledged that a policy change is under consideration, but added that the White House has yet to make a decision.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the US had authorised the AFU to use US air defence systems to shoot down missiles or fighter jets over Russian territory that posed a threat to Ukraine. However, the Post also reported US concerns that strikes carried out by Ukraine could “destabilise the situation”.

A potential change in US policy has been under discussion since mid-May, when Ukraine reportedly asked Washington to lift the restrictions. According to The New York Times, the proposal was put forward by Blinken after a “sobering” visit to Kiev.

On 20 May, 13 congressmen asked the Secretary of Defence to authorise the use of US weapons on Russian territory in response to the worsening situation on the battlefield. The same lawmakers also urged the Pentagon to train additional Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16 fighter jets.

In late May, however, the German and Italian governments both spoke out against allowing the use of Western weapons to attack Russian territory, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressing that Germany’s main objective in supplying arms to Ukraine had been to prevent the outbreak of a major war.

Since then, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg has come out in favour of expanding the UAF’s permitted use of Western weapons, calling for Ukraine to be free “to strike hard inside Russia” using weapons supplied by its allies.

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