US appears to approve Ukraine’s potential strikes on Russian territory – Le Monde

Antony Blinken and Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, May 15, 2024
Antony Blinken and Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, May 15, 2024

Ukraine has probably received permission from the United States to use American weapons to strike at Russian territory, Le Monde reported on May 16, analyzing statements made by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv.

By his answer to a question from journalists about whether Washington still prohibits Ukraine from using American weapons on Russian territory, Blinken opened the way for the use of Western equipment against Russian units located outside Ukraine, the newspaper writes.

"We have not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war," the Secretary of State said on May 15.

“And we will continue to back Ukraine with the equipment that it needs to succeed, that it needs to win.”

Ukraine had to abide by the ban because of its critical dependence on Western aid, but "the Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast on May 10 changed everything," Le Monde writes.

Read also: US unveils $2B aid for Ukraine – Blinken

For several weeks, Ukrainians had been watching the enemy gather forces near the border, but were unable to launch a preemptive strike against the Russian cluster, the article reads.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged on May 3 $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine "for as long as it takes," adding that London has no objection to Ukraine’s using weapons to strike Russia.

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

U.S. aid for Ukraine

After months of delay, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill providing over $60 billion in support for Ukraine on April 20.

The U.S. Senate also passed a bill providing aid to Ukraine on April 24.

Read also: 'Couldn't stop the troop buildup' - Ukraine wants Biden to allow US-made weapons for use in strikes on Russia

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the bill the same day, adding that deliveries would begin "immediately, within hours."

The aid package includes ammunition for air defense systems, artillery, missile systems, and armored vehicles, he added

The new aid package for Ukraine should last until the end of 2024, the White House stated.

The U.S. had secretly sent over 100 long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine in March, The New York Times reported.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on April 26 that the US will allocate $6 billion to purchase military aid for Ukraine from the US industry.

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

U.S. President Joe Biden approved a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine on May 10. It includes ammunition for Patriot air defense system, NASAMS, and more.

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken announced on May 15 a new $2 billion aid package for Ukraine during a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

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