icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
22 May, 2024 15:43

Let Ukraine use US weapons to attack Russia – Congress members

A group of lawmakers has called for a bigger war chest for Kiev after a meeting with Ukrainian MPs
Let Ukraine use US weapons to attack Russia – Congress members

A group of US congressmen has appealed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, asking him to allow Ukraine to attack Russian territory with American weapons. They also called for an overall increase in military assistance to Kiev.

The letter, published on Tuesday, followed a meeting between House members and a group of Ukrainian parliamentarians who visited Washington last week.

The key request by the document authors was for Austin to authorize “the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.”

Last week, US Defense Department spokeswoman Sabrina Singh reiterated the Pentagon’s stance that American weapons can only be deployed to “take back Ukrainian sovereign territory,” not to target Russia.

The lawmakers, including the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Mike Turner, the committee’s ranking member, Jim Himes, and former president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Gerry Connolly, argued that “Ukrainians have been unable to defend themselves due to the [President Joe Biden] Administration’s current policy.”

It is “essential” that Kiev’s commanders are provided with the ability “to conduct a full spectrum of operations” required to respond to Moscow, the letter read.

Its authors also said that the Ukrainian MPs told them that Kiev needs up to seven additional US-made Patriot batteries to intercept Russian missiles and drones.

According to the lawmakers, the US must provide training to more Ukrainian pilots to fly the American-designed F-16 fighter jets, which had been promised to Kiev by its Western backers last year, but are yet to be supplied.

The head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Aleksandr Litvinenko, told the Financial Times on Tuesday that the Biden administration should lift what he called an “absolutely unfair” ban on strikes within Russian territory with US-supplied arms.

Ukraine could “stymie” Moscow’s advances along the front line if it was able to strike arms depots, logistics hubs, and oil refineries deep inside Russia with American long-range missiles and other weaponry, Litvinenko, who replaced Aleksey Danilov in the job in March, argued.

On Tuesday, Russia staged tactical nuclear drills which involved the delivery of nuclear weapons to troops from storage sites, arming of missiles, and preparation of their launch. According to Moscow, the exercises were needed to show Russia’s ability to respond to any external threats amid continued escalation with the West. The announcement of the drills earlier in May followed the delivery of long-range US-made ATACMS missiles by Washington to Kiev.