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

Patrick S. Ryder
Patrick S. Ryder

The Pentagon sidestepped a direct question about the reason the USA is limiting Ukraine's ability to use US weapons to strike targets inside Russia, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Patrick Ryder said at a May 21 briefing.

Our policy has not changed – as the minister said," Ryder said.

"We are focused on providing Ukraine with the forces and means it needs for self-defense within Ukrainian borders — its sovereign territory."

The stipulation differs from the announcement made by U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said on May 3 that London has no objection to Ukraine's use of allied weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

The U.S. "understands this" and will continue "these conversations" with the Ukrainian side and its international allies and partners, especially considering those forces and means, particularly air defense, that Ukraine needs for self-defense, Ryder added.

Read also: US appears to approve Ukraine’s potential strikes on Russian territory – Le Monde

The use of Western weapons on the Russian territory

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 issue with Ukraine striking targets inside Russia.

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

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