US President Joe Biden permits Ukraine’s offensive strikes inside Russia with American munitions

US President Joe Biden has authorized Ukraine to launch targeted strikes within Russian territory using American munitions, CNN reported. This bold decision comes as Russian forces advance near Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine close to the Russian border.

Livemint
Published31 May 2024, 07:27 AM IST
File image of US President Joe Biden
File image of US President Joe Biden(AP Photo / David Yeazell)

President Joe Biden has made a notable change in policy by authorizing Ukraine to conduct targeted strikes within Russian territory using American munitions, CNN reported. 

This decision followed rising tensions as Russian forces advance near Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine close to the Russian border, according to two US officials briefed on the matter.

Under the new directive, Ukraine is permitted to retaliate against Russian forces or targets located near Kharkiv using weaponry supplied by the United States.

"The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use US-supplied weapons for counterfire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them," one official said, according to CNN.

The official added that this policy adjustment is strictly confined to the vicinity of Kharkiv and that there are no plans to expand the permitted area. Ukrainian authorities have not sought permission for strikes beyond this region.

The official confirmed that Kyiv requested this policy change in response to the advancing Russian forces in recent weeks. Ukrainian forces are now empowered to target Russian military installations, ammunition depots, and logistical hubs across the border from Kharkiv in western Russia.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration has maintained its stance against allowing Ukraine to utilize its most formidable munitions, including the long-range ATACMS missiles, which have a range of up to 200 miles (300 kilometers), as reported by CNN.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at possibly adjusting the administration's approach earlier this week. "Another hallmark of our support for Ukraine over the last two years has been to adapt as the conditions have changed," Blinken remarked during a visit to Moldova. "I am confident we will continue to do that."

The shift in policy aligns with recent statements from European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Macron emphasized the need for Ukraine to neutralize military sites within Russia that pose a threat to Ukrainian territory. "Ukrainian soil is being attacked from bases in Russia," Macron stated.

"We think that we should allow them to neutralize the military sites from which the missiles are fired and, basically, the military sites from which Ukraine is attacked."

CNN reported that Scholz echoed Macron's sentiments, affirming that Ukraine has the right to defend itself within the parameters set by the countries supplying the weapons and international law.

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First Published:31 May 2024, 07:27 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldUS President Joe Biden permits Ukraine’s offensive strikes inside Russia with American munitions

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