Germany backs Ukraine’s right to self-defense by allowing strikes on Russian territory — Scholz

Ukrainian soldier
Ukrainian soldier

Ukraine has the right to defend itself against attacks on its territory, cities, and citizens, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, supporting the use of German weaponry to strike Russian military targets, Tagesschau reported on June 6.

Read also: Ukraine works on lifting ban on use of Western weapons on Russian territories – Kuleba

Scholz clarified his decision, citing Russia's initiation of a new offensive against the city of Kharkiv, the article said.

"Therefore, Ukraine can also use the weapons that we and our allies supply — always in alignment with international legal mandates," he said.

Scholz affirmed Germany's steadfast stance of not becoming entangled in Russia's war with Ukraine. He underscored the necessity of continual coordination with partners and allies "again and again" before making consequential decisions.

"Citizens can rely on us to act prudently, to carefully weigh all risks," Scholz said.

"I stand by this as Chancellor, who is committed to the peace and security of Germany."

Use of Western weapons in Russian territory

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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: Ukrainian President joins world leaders in France for D-Day commemorations

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.

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: Ukraine-Russia peace talks far off – Scholz

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.

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.

The AFP news agency, citing unnamed sources, reported that Ukraine had already used Western weapons to strike Russian territory several times, most recently in Krasnodar.

The New York Times on May 31 reported, citing unnamed White House officials, that U.S. President Joe Biden, under pressure from his advisers and key allies, had authorized Ukraine to conduct limited strikes on Russian territory with U.S.-made weapons.

On the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the White House had authorized Ukraine to strike Russian territory with US weapons.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Michael Carpenter told Voice of America that the US authorized Ukraine to strike Russian territory not only to protect Kharkiv from Russian attacks but also to defend other Ukrainian regions.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine could strike at Russian territory using HIMARS, GMLRS, and American artillery shells. However, the green light from the United States does not include the use of ATACMS. They also clarified that the US is still against strikes deep into Russia.

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