09:35 25 May 2024

Stoltenberg calls on allies to allow Ukraine to strike Russian territory

Photo: Europa Press

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, called on the NATO allies who supply weapons to Ukraine to cancel the ban on their use to attack military facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Stoltenberg stated this in an interview with The Economist.

"The time has come for allies to consider whether they should lift some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons they have donated to Ukraine.

Especially now when a lot of the fighting is going on in Kharkiv, close to the border, to deny Ukraine the possibility of using these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory makes it very hard for them to defend themselves," the Secretary General emphasized.

Stoltenberg noted that the Russian occupation forces will continue to press and gain minor positions and are ready to pay a very high price for these minor gains.

He also reprimanded the European allies, who promised one million artillery shells.

"We have not seen anything close to this," the head of the Alliance noted.

In addition, Stoltenberg recognized the risk of escalation.

According to him, the task is "to prevent this war from becoming a full-fledged war between Russia and NATO in Europe." However, he emphasized the difference between supplying weapons, training, and military action.

"We provide training, we provide weapons, ammunition to Ukraine, but we will not be directly involved from NATO territory in combat operations over or in Ukraine. So that's a different thing," the Secretary General emphasized.

The NATO chief also commented on a proposal to deploy troops to Ukraine if its government makes a request, an idea championed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

"That's not the plan…We don't have any intention to send nato ground troops into Ukraine because our purpose…has been two-fold, to support Ukraine as we do, but also to ensure that we don't escalate this into a full-scale conflict," Stoltenberg summarized.

Strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation

As you know, from the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, the US forbids Ukraine from hitting the territory of the Russian Federation with American weapons.

Recently, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) published a conclusion that if it were not for this ban, the Russian Federation's new offensive in the north of the Kharkiv region would not have been so successful. According to analysts, US restrictions on Ukraine's ability to strike military targets in Russia have created sanctuaries in the border areas of the Russian Federation, from where Russian aircraft can launch planned bomb and missile strikes on Ukrainian positions and populated areas.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that the possibility of using Western weapons on the territory of Russia is not an offensive but the protection of Ukrainians.

Also, the US Helsinki Commission stated that the United States of America should allow Ukraine to strike with American weapons against the Russian forces in the border areas of Russia.

However, the Pentagon stated that American weapons are intended for use on the territory of Ukraine.

In turn, the head of the Pentagon said that the US expects that Ukraine will use the provided weapons on its territory.



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