Espreso. Global

US to lift restrictions on Ukraine's use of long-range weapons if Russia expands front

3 July, 2024 Wednesday

The US State Department says that if Russia tries to expand the front, Ukraine will be allowed to shoot at a greater distance


Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs James O'Brien said this, Voice of America reports.

"War criminal Putin and his forces have calculated the exact distance to strike Ukraine from Russian territory - so that Ukraine cannot retaliate. While some restrictions on Ukrainian counterattacks have been lifted, this is clearly not enough," said Republican Congressman Joe Wilson during a hearing at the House Committee on Foreign Relations.

He emphasized that Ukraine must win the war, as Ukrainians are motivated by the struggle for existence, but "victory is only possible if we allow them to win."

Republican Thomas Kean noted that recent reports indicate that the administration is limiting the use of U.S. weapons in Russia to within 100 kilometers of the Ukrainian border. This is significantly less than the full range of the Atacms missiles, which is over 300 kilometers.

"How many Russian air bases are within the range of the Atacms that the administration is preventing Ukraine from striking?" asked the State Department representative.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs James O'Brien answered: "If Russia tries to expand the current front, then Ukraine will be allowed to fire at a greater distance."

But now, according to O'Brien, Russia is losing its ability to attack because of Ukraine's destruction of Russian facilities near the border.

"We're seeing a dramatic change in Russia's ability to sustain its campaign against Ukraine because of the loss of facilities in the area where it is allowed to fire," O'Brien said.

He added that the US priority was to provide weapons and concentrate them "in the areas of greatest need."

"At first, it was the area where Russia was conducting an offensive near Kharkiv. And now, as Jake Sullivan (National Security Advisor to the President of the United States - ed.) said last week, if Russia tries to expand that front, Ukraine will be allowed to reach targets at a greater distance," O'Brien said during the hearing.

Which countries have authorized Ukraine to use their weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation

On May 2, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that Ukraine has the right to use British weapons to strike at Russian territory. In response, Russia threatened to strike at UK military facilities.

On May 26, Swedish Defense Minister Paul Johnson said that Ukraine could use weapons provided by Stockholm to hit targets in Russia.

Subsequently, Polish Deputy Defense Minister Cezary Tomczyk said that his country supports Ukraine's right to use Western weapons to strike targets in Russia.

Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Finland also gave permission to use their weapons outside Ukraine.

On May 29, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said that when providing Kyiv with weapons, the country did not set any conditions for their use.

May 30 Norway says Western countries should allow Ukraine to use their weapons on Russian territory to speed up Kyiv's victory.

On the same day, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that Ukraine would be able to use Danish F-16 fighter jets to strike at military targets in Russia.

On May 31, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that President Joe Biden had secretly authorized Ukraine to strike targets in Russia with U.S. weapons. Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the message came from the United States and called the ally's action a "step forward." At the same time, a representative of the US National Security Council commented on the territory of the Russian Federation subject to the US authorization.

Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said that Ukraine would be able to use F-16 fighter jets provided by her country to strike targets in Russia.   

June 6 Macron authorizes Ukraine to strike Russia with French weapons.

On June 15, it was reported that NATO Secretary General Jens Stolterberg said that Ukraine has the right to self-defense, which includes the right to destroy legitimate military targets in Russia.

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