Kyiv gets nod from Berlin to use German weapons inside Russia

EU and German flags in front of the Bundestag
EU and German flags in front of the Bundestag

Berlin has approved Kyiv's use of German weapons to target military sites within Russia, Der Spiegel reported on May 31, citing sources within the German federal government.

Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit confirmed that Germany and Ukraine have agreed that “the supplied weapons will be used in accordance with international law.”

Hebestreit also noted that Russia has recently intensified its military actions from positions near the Ukrainian border, particularly targeting Kharkiv Oblast. “We are convinced that Ukraine has the right under international law to defend itself against these attacks,” he stated.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other German officials were cautious about authorizing the expanded use of German weapons, opting to wait for a statement from the United States to avoid pressuring President Biden. Meanwhile, the White House and the U.S. State Department were coordinating to form a unified stance on this delicate matter.

Janine Wissler, a German leftist leader, criticized the decision, calling it “irresponsible and very dangerous.”

“Every Western missile that hits Russia increases the risk of an unpredictable escalation of this war,” Wissler remarked.

This follows an earlier statement made by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during his press briefing in the Ukrainian port of Odesa on May 30 that Berlin would consider allowing Ukraine to strike Russia with German weapons.

On the same day, Politico reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials that the White House had privately given Ukraine permission to carry out strikes on Russian territory using U.S.-supplied weapons, but only in areas directly adjacent to Kharkiv Oblast.

“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,” the source said.

The official added that U.S. policy regarding long-range strikes inside Russia has not changed.

On May 28, French President Emmanuel Macron became the latest Western leader to publicly support permitting Kyiv attack military targets across the border using foreign weapons.

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