NATO Secretary General comments on downing of Russian Tu-22: Ukraine has the right to self-defence

Friday, 19 April 2024

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasised that Ukraine has the right to strike military targets outside its borders for self-defence, and Russian military aircraft are included in this category.

Stoltenberg emphasised at a press conference following the virtual meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council that this is an aggressive war which Russia wages against its neighbour, Ukraine.

"Ukraine has the right to self-defence, and that includes also striking legitimate military targets outside Ukraine. So to down Russian planes which are used to attack Ukraine is part of Ukraine’s right for self-defence."

On the night of 18-19 April, Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence reported that one of the Tu-22M3 strategic bombers which carried out a missile strike against Ukraine was downed as a result of a special operation in cooperation with the country's Air Force.


Stoltenberg previously stated that Ukraine, as a country defending against aggression, had the right to strike "legitimate military targets" outside its borders.

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