We are acting in line with NATO best practices – Deputy PM on US calls not to strike Russian refineries

Friday, 22 March 2024

Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, has said that oil refineries in Russia are legitimate targets for the Ukrainian military. She added that in this case, Ukraine is acting in accordance with NATO standards. 

Stefanishyna was asked at the Kyiv Security Forum how the Ukrainian side reacted to the article about the US supposedly calling on Ukraine to stop strikes on Russian oil refineries. 

"The Ukrainian side responded, I think, by mentioning that it was achieving its goals and carrying out very successful operations on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Conversely, there have also been statements from other officials that these are absolutely legitimate targets from a military point of view. We understand the concerns of our American partners. At the same time, we have to make the most of the capabilities, resources and methods that we have.


I would like to remind my colleagues who make such statements that in February 2022, I spoke to NATO headquarters to ask them to turn to the UN, as they are able to enact a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine.

They said: ‘Olha, you don't understand NATO methods’. These NATO methods firstly entail the destruction of infrastructure in [the aggressor country] that makes it possible to bomb [the attacked country’s] cities, such as factories that produce missiles. We are therefore acting in accordance with NATO best practices."

Commenting on the Russian attack on 22 March, Stefanishyna said she expects her partners to provide Ukraine with weapons: "Outrage and condolences are one thing, but we expect weapons first and foremost." 

Read more: "The burning shall continue": What lies behind Ukraine's attacks on Russia's oil refineries, and how have they impacted the Kremlin?

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