Blinken hints at US support for Ukraine’s right to strike Russian territory

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The White House may permit Ukraine to use U.S.-made weapons to strike Russian territory, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating that the U.S. would “adapt and adjust” its stance based on battlefield conditions, The New York Times reported on May 29.

Read also: If Ukraine is forbidden from striking inside Russia, Russia will simply target Kyiv from Russia - EU's Borrell

Blinken said that United States neither encourages nor authorizes such attacks, but that Ukrainians must make their own decisions about how best to protect themselves.

When asked by a journalist whether his words “adapt and adjust” meant that the United States could support Ukraine's attacks with American weapons on Russian territory, he replied: “Adapt and adjust means exactly that.”

Use of Western weapons on Russian territory

The U.S. does not "encourage" Ukraine to use American weapons to strike Russian territory, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on May 17.

Foreign weapons should be used "to reclaim Ukrainian sovereign territory" and this should occur "specifically on Ukrainian territory," the Pentagon emphasized.

Read also: Germany inclined to allow Ukraine to strike inside Russia, the latest ally to change its position

Ukraine likely received U.S. approval to use American weapons for strikes on Russian territory, Le Monde, analyzing statements by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv, reported.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine on May 3. London does not object to the use of its weapons for strikes on Russia, he added.

Read also: Ukraine has the absolute right to strike inside Russia with Western weapons — Polish Deputy Defense Minister

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

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown provided evasive answers on May 20, when asked whether Ukraine could use American weapons to strike the aggressor country amid the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The New York Times on May 21, that he had asked the U.S. to allow Ukraine to use American missiles and other weapons on military targets inside Russia.

Read also:

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated his opposition, on May 26, to Ukraine using Western weapons to strike Russian territory.

Swedish Defense Minister Paul Jonsson declared that Ukraine could use Swedish weapons for attacks on Russian territory.

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