Biden secretly gave Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia with US arms, Politico reports

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden has secretly given Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia - solely near the area of Kharkiv - with American weapons, Politico reported on Thursday, citing a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the plan.

“The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S. weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them,” Politico reported, citing a U.S. official who added that the policy of allowing long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed.”

Politico's story did not say when Biden gave the permission.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of the threat of a global conflict if Kyiv's Western allies allow it to use weapons they have supplied to strike inside Russia, something Ukraine's government is urging its partners to permit.

The United States has said it does not encourage or enable the use of U.S. weapons for direct attacks on Russia, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when asked about Washington's current position on the matter, said on Wednesday it would "adjust and adapt."

(Reporting by Paul Grant; Editing by Eric Beech)