Bipartisan U.S. Congress group wants the U.S. to drop its ban on Ukraine striking targets inside Russia

Congressmen urge Lloyd Austin to lift a ban on using US-made weapons to strike Russia
Congressmen urge Lloyd Austin to lift a ban on using US-made weapons to strike Russia

A bipartisan group of Members of Congress want the U.S. to lift its ban on the use of U.S. weapons to strike targets inside Russia, a U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) statement on May 21 said.

The statement also urges the U.S. to ramp up weapons supply to Ukraine.

The restrictions imposed by the U.S. on using American-made weapons are handcuffing Ukrainian efforts to push back the Russian invaders in Kharkiv Oblast, the HPSCI statement said.

The bipartisan representatives also called for expanding the training of Ukrainians on American F-16 fighter jets.

Just 12 pilots will graduate in 2024, U.S. Air Force data shows.

Ukraine could be “authorized to use U.S.–provided weapons to strike strategic targets in Russia under certain circumstances", HPSCI Committee Chairman, Republican Mike Turner believes, Voice of America wrote.

"Ukrainian officials have expressed grave concerns, saying that the situation is now worse than ever,” Turner said.

Read also: The Pentagon dodges explanation of why USA prevents Ukraine from striking inside Russia with US weapons

“The United States should allow Ukraine under certain circumstances to use weapons that can strike strategic military targets in Russia, train more Ukrainian pilots on the F-16, and strengthen Ukrainian air defense systems."

Lawmakers in the U.S. believe that Ukrainians cannot effectively defend themselves because of the policy.

13 Members of Congress have already signed the appeal as of May 21.

"It is essential the Biden Administration allows Ukraine's military leaders the ability to conduct the full spectrum of operations necessary to respond to Russia’s unprovoked attack on their sovereign territory," the appeal added.

 The use of Western weapons on Russia’a territory

The U.S. does not encourage Ukraine to carry out strikes beyond its territories, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said on his visit to Kyiv.

“We believe that the equipment, capabilities that we provide to Ukraine, that other countries provide to Ukraine, should be used to return Ukrainian sovereign territory", The Pentagon noted.

Ukraine has probably received permission from the United States to use American weapons to strike at Russian territory, Le Monde reported on May 16, analyzing statements made by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged on May 3 $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine "for as long as it takes," adding that London has no objection to Ukraine’s using weapons to strike Russia.

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

Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Charles Brown sidestepped the question of whether Ukraine could use American weapons to strike the Russian territory amid new Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast on May 20.

He asked the United States to allow Ukraine to use American missiles and other weapons for military purposes on the territory of Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with the NYT on May 21.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine