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Ukraine should be allowed to strike ‘valid military targets’ in Russia, US House Intelligence Committee chair says

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 1, 2024 7:12 PM 2 min read
Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, during press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 9, 2024. (Serhiy Morgunov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine should be allowed to strike "valid military targets" in Russia, Mike Turner, chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a Republican congressman from Ohio, said in Kyiv on July 1.

Visiting Kyiv as part of a bipartisan delegation of U.S. members of Congress, Turner said his position on Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory was "broader than the (Biden) administration's."

The U.S. gave Ukraine permission on June 1 to use American-supplied weapons, including HIMARS rockets, to strike targets in Russia located near the border with Kharkiv Oblast after Russia launched a renewed offensive in the region on May 10.

Ukraine is still prohibited from using ATACMS and other long-range U.S.-supplied weapons for strikes deeper inside Russia.

"I believe that Ukraine ought to be able to use the weapons that are being provided for valid military targets," Turner said.

"My position is the same as (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg," Turner added, referring to Stoltenberg's remarks in June that restricting Ukraine's ability to strike targets in Russia is "to ask them to defend themselves with one hand tied around the back."

Turner also highlighted the fact that Russia's arms production is estimated to be far higher than that of the West.

Despite Western efforts to undermine Russia's industrial and military output, the country is only increasing its investment into arms production, allocating a record portion of its 2024 federal budget for military needs.

"This is a math problem and I think there should be an ability to use military force to respond to that issue also."

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on June 7 that his country had increased ammunition production by more than 20 times, and weeks later called for Russia to resume production of short and intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles.

With aid on the line, Kyiv pays close attention to US presidential debate
U.S. President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, faced off on June 27 in the first presidential debate in the lead-up to the country’s presidential election. The debate marked a shaky start for Biden, whose administration proved to be a pivotal ally for Ukraine in its defense against

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