German Chancellor Scholz’s party urges approval for Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil with German arms

A Ukrainian soldier prepares to fire from a 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer at a position in Donetsk Oblast, May 21, 2024
A Ukrainian soldier prepares to fire from a 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer at a position in Donetsk Oblast, May 21, 2024

Michael Roth, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Germany’s Bundestag from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic (SPD) party, called for permitting Ukraine to use weapons on targets in Russian territory, the German news service Tagesschau reported on May 30.

Read also: Blinken hints at US support for Ukraine’s right to strike Russian territory

"I strongly advise following NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who made this suggestion," Roth said on Deutschlandfunk radio.

While Chancellor Scholz has thus far rejected this proposal, the U.S. government is currently deliberating the matter, dismissing concerns that such action would cross a red line and make NATO states participants in the war.

"The red line is international law, this line will not be crossed," he said, referring to Ukrainian attacks on targets in Russia.

"If Ukraine, for example, attacks weapons depots in Russia, this is part of Ukraine's right to self-defense against the Russian war of aggression... There is only one person who is escalating — and that is Vladimir Putin."

Use of Western weapons on Russian territory

The U.S. does not "encourage" Ukraine to use American weapons to strike Russian territory, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on May 17.

Foreign weapons should be used "to reclaim Ukrainian sovereign territory" and this should occur "specifically on Ukrainian territory," the Pentagon emphasized.

Read also: Ukraine failed to take out all the missiles in Russia's latest mass attack due to a lack of air defense

Ukraine likely received U.S. approval to use American weapons for strikes on Russian territory, Le Monde, analyzing statements by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv, reported.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine on May 3. London does not object to the use of its weapons for strikes on Russia, he added.

Le Monde views Cameron and Blinken's statements as "a sign of a deliberate shift in the West's position" on this issue.

Read also: Germany won't be joining France in sending military instructors to Ukraine

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown provided evasive answers on May 20, when asked whether Ukraine could use American weapons to strike the aggressor country amid the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The New York Times on May 21, that he had asked the U.S. to allow Ukraine to use American missiles and other weapons on military targets inside Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated his opposition, on May 26, to Ukraine using Western weapons to strike Russian territory.

Swedish Defense Minister Paul Jonsson declared that Ukraine could use Swedish weapons for attacks on Russian territory.

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