EU countries begin lifting bans on Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory

Josep Borrell
Josep Borrell

EU member states are gradually lifting the restrictions that prevent Ukraine from using Western-supplied weapons to strike targets in Russian territory, Josep Borrell, EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said on May 28.

In a statement, Borrell said, “Are we allowing the use of weapons on Russian territory? Member states have started to address this, lifting such restrictions.”

He added that, “according to the laws of war, there are no contradictions” in Ukraine striking the territory of the aggressor, Russia. However, he noted that some of Kyiv’s partners still fear it could escalate the conflict and make them co-belligerents.

“But you must find a balance between the risk of escalation and the necessity for Ukrainians to defend themselves,” said Borrell.

“Because, of course, [currently] you cannot fire at where the attacks are coming from, you are in a completely asymmetric situation.”

Read also: Restrictions on use of US weapons to strike Russia remain in place — Secretary Austin

On May 17, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby reiterated that the United States does not “encourage” Ukraine to strike Russian territory using U.S. weapons. The Pentagon further explained that foreign weapons should be used to reclaim Ukrainian sovereign territory and that this must occur “specifically on Ukrainian territory.”

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