If Ukraine is forbidden from striking inside Russia, Russia will simply target Kyiv from Russia - EU's Borrell

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell

Western leaders need to balance the "risk of escalation" with Ukraine's "need to defend itself" when deciding whether to permit Kyiv to use foreign weapons to strike Russian territory, the EU's Josep Borrell said on May 28.

Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was speaking ahead of a meeting of EU defense ministers.

There is no contradiction in "fighting against someone who is fighting against you from their own territory," said Borrell.

Read also: NATO PA urges allowing Ukraine to strike targets in Russian territory

"If you cannot target the location from which attacks are being launched, you are in a completely asymmetrical situation,” he said.

“This is becoming increasingly critical as strikes on Kyiv are being launched from Russian territory."

Read also: Russian strikes on Kharkiv push US to reconsider use of American weapons on Russian soil

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's use of Western arms purely defensive, President Zelenskyy states

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.

British 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.

Read also: Ukraine can use British weapons - including Storm Shadow missiles - to attack inside Russia - David Cameron

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

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.

Read also: Sweden backs Ukraine's right to hit Russian territory

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.

Read also: Scholz stands firm on not using German weapons for attacks in Russia

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