Ukraine may use German Patriot missiles to target Russian aircraft in Russian airspace — German general

Patriot
Patriot

Ukraine could theoretically shoot down Russian aircraft over Russian airspace using German Patriot missile systems, Major General Christian Freuding, head of the Ukraine aid center, said, the German newspaper Tagesschau reported on June 2.

"It is quite conceivable that the 'Patriot' systems will now also be used near Kharkiv and over Russia," Freuding said.

"They are perfectly suited to combat Russian aircraft, which can deploy formidable guided bombs."

The tactical use of these systems in his opinion is "solely the responsibility of the Ukrainian military," the newspaper said.

"They can use them within the framework of international law," Freuding said.

"We have great confidence that Ukrainians will not only adhere to it but will also do so with great tactical skill and achieve success."

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius confirmed on May 31 that the country has permitted Ukraine to strike Russian territory with German weapons, but only in areas close to the border.

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.

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.

UK 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.

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.

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.

The White House has also allegedly secretly authorized Ukraine to strike Russian territory with American weapons, but only in the Kharkiv area, Politico reported on May 30.

The AFP news agency, citing unnamed sources, reported that Ukraine had already used Western weapons to strike Russian territory several times, most recently in Krasnodar.

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