11 countries approve strikes on Russia with donated weapons

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has now thrown his support behind Ukraine’s use of Western weapons to target Russian territory, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke with Politico

Berlin will not send Leopard tanks to Kyiv, not now or in 2023
Photo credit: Snapshot

This marks a shift in Scholz’s stance over the past few days. As recently as May 28, the German leader had maintained that there was no reason to expand the use of Western arms in the Ukrainian conflict. He emphasized that “clear rules for the supply of German weapons to Kyiv” had been established and agreed upon with Ukraine, and these were already in effect. 

Scholz has consistently stated that his policy goal in Ukraine is “to prevent the conflict from escalating into a much larger war.” 

However, after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who persuaded him to allow the use of Western weapons against Russian military bases on Russian soil, Scholz adjusted his position. At that time, he indicated that Ukraine could employ the weapons supplied to it “within international law.” This, as Politico notes, permits their use against an aggressor, in this case, Russia. 

On that same day, Scholz’s press secretary Steffen Hebestreit provided clarity on Scholz’s stance. He stated, “Ukraine’s defensive actions are not confined to its own territory; they may extend to Russian territory.” However, Hebestreit emphasized that he couldn’t disclose the specific agreements with Kyiv regarding the use of German weapons due to confidentiality. 

According to Hebestreit, the chancellor’s statements about a “consensus” with Ukraine not to strike Russian territory, made last February, reflected the facts at that time but may not apply moving forward.

Meanwhile, sources told Politico that the United States might also be reconsidering its position on Ukraine’s use of Western weapons in attacks on Russia. They mentioned that no decision had been made yet, but the Biden administration appeared to be following a familiar pattern of “initial caution followed by a decision.” 

Strela-10M3
Photo credit: Wikipedia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently urged alliance members to permit Ukraine to use their supplied weaponry against Russian targets. This conversation gained momentum following the Russian military’s advance in the Kharkiv region. 

At present, eleven Western countries have agreed to let Ukraine target military sites within Russian territory using their arms. These countries include France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Canada.

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