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NATO Parliamentary Assembly supports Ukraine's right to hit targets inside Russia using Western arms

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 27, 2024 6:47 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General and chairman of the North Atlantic Council Jens Stoltenberg gives a speech during the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 27, 2024. (Borislav Troshev/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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NATO allies should lift restrictions that prohibit Ukraine's use of Western-supplied weapons against military targets inside Russia, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly said in a declaration adopted on May 27.

Some of the countries that supply the most military aid to Ukraine, namely the U.S. and Germany, are against Ukraine using their weapons to strike Russian territory due to fears this would lead to an escalation of the war.

Other partners, such as the U.K., have said that Ukraine has the right to use Western-supplied weapons to strike targets inside Russian territory.

NATO member states should "support Ukraine in its international right to defend itself by lifting some restrictions on the use of weapons provided by NATO allies to strike legitimate targets in Russia," the declaration said.

"Ukraine must be provided with all that it needs, as quickly as possible and for as long as it takes for it to win."

The declaration was approved by a majority of the 281 lawmakers in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and received support from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that "the right to self-defense includes hitting legitimate targets outside Ukraine."

"Ukraine can only defend itself if it can attack Russia’s supply lines and Russian bases of operation," the NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Michal Szczerba said.

Zelensky: Russia forming another grouping of forces near Ukraine’s northern border
“Russia is preparing for offensive actions also 90 kilometers northwest from here – they gather another group of troops near our border... The one who does all this doesn’t want peace,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address to the world leaders recorded in Kharkiv on May 26.

Ukraine has repeatedly said that the restrictions meant Ukraine was unable to attack Russian forces as they were building up before crossing the border into Kharkiv Oblast in the renewed Russian offensive that began on May 10.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis criticized the restrictions on May 20, arguing that the decision was "dominated by fear of Russia" and that Ukraine "must be allowed to use the equipment provided to them so that they can achieve strategic objectives."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on May 26 that Germany gave clear rules to Ukraine prohibiting the use of German weapons on Russian soil and that he sees no reason to change this.

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