Some US senators support Ukraine's use of US-supplied weapons to strike Russian territory

Friday, 17 May 2024

US senators are divided in their opinion on whether Ukraine should use US-provided weapons to strike Russian territory, especially amid a new Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast.

As reported by Voice of America (VoA), Western partners have been providing weapons to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion to combat Russian aggression and to be used exclusively on sovereign Ukrainian territory.

The journalists asked the senators whether this stance should change, especially given the new offensive by the Russian occupation forces in Kharkiv Oblast.

In particular, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal has not ruled out that strikes against some Russian targets may be justified.


"I support Ukraine's use of US-provided weapons in accordance with our mutual interests. Targeting certain Russian targets may be justified while others may not; therefore, I would approach them selectively. But in general, this must be the most aggressive use of the weapons we provide," he said.

Republican Senator John Cornyn says the ban on the use of US weapons to target Russia is a mistake.

"In my opinion, the Biden administration, unfortunately, is trying to micromanage how Ukraine defends itself. Similarly, they are now trying to micromanage how Israel defends itself against Hamas," the senator said, adding that the Biden administration's failure to provide long-range weapons "gave the Russians the advantage and the ability to attack Ukraine without the Ukrainians being able to stop them."

At the same time, Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth believes that it is not the time to lift the ban on the use of US-supplied weapons outside Ukraine.

"I think we need to keep this ban in place for now, but we will definitely talk to the administration about the future steps," she said.

Duckworth added that the initiative to lift the ban on the use of US weapons to strike Russian territories should come from the White House.

Instead, more support should be sent to Ukraine as soon as possible, the senator stressed.

During his visit to Kyiv, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, commenting on the issue of Ukraine's use of US-provided weapons, stated that Washington, as before, does not authorise the use of the weapons for strikes against Russia. However, unlike previous statements from the White House, he did not oppose such strikes in principle.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon stated that the US position on the use of US weapons within Ukraine has not changed.

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