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Macron calls for Ukraine to be allowed to attack targets in Russia with Western weapons

Macron calls for Ukraine to be allowed to attack targets in Russia with Western weapons

Western countries should allow Ukraine attack military bases on Russian territory with the sophisticated long-range weapons they are providing to kyiv, the president of France said on Wednesday, Emmanuel Macrona new indication in a change of position that could change the dynamics of the war.

The question of whether to allow Ukraine to attack targets on Russian territory with Western-supplied weaponry has been a sensitive issue since the Kremlin It launched its full-scale invasion of the neighboring country in February 2022.

For the most part, Western leaders have avoided taking that step because it risks provoking Russia’s president, Vladimir Putinwhich has frequently warned that direct Western involvement could put the world on the path to nuclear conflict.

But the war has turned in favor of Russia lately, and Kremlin forces have taken advantage of a lack of troops and ammunition in Ukraine, after a long delay in American military aid and limited military production capacity in Western Europe slowed crucial deliveries to the front.

Russian missiles and bombs have hit Ukrainian military positions and civilian areas, including the power grid. kyiv faces its toughest test of the war, and expanding its options with long-range weapons could prompt a counterattack and deal a blow to the Kremlin.

Macron said that the position of France is that “we believe that we should allow (Ukraine) to neutralize the (Russian) military facilities from which the missiles are launched.”

“If we tell (the Ukrainians) that they do not have the right to reach the place from where the missiles are fired, in practice we are telling them that we give them weapons but they cannot defend themselves,” Macron said Tuesday evening during an official visit to Germany.

His statements came the day after the secretary general of the NATOJens Stoltenberg, will urge alliance members to lift some of the restrictions on Ukrainian use of Western weapons.

“The right to self-defense includes hitting legitimate targets outside Ukraine”Stoltenberg said Monday at a NATO meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Already at the beginning of May, Moscow interpreted as a threat a comment by the British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, that Ukraine could use British long-range weapons, such as the Storm Shadow cruise missile, to hit back at Russia.

That, along with Macron’s comments that he has not ruled out sending troops to Ukraine, prompted Russia to announce it would conduct tactical nuclear weapons exercises. Russia also warned London that its decision could involve retaliatory attacks against British military equipment and facilities on Ukrainian soil or elsewhere.

Leaders choose their words carefully. Macron He stressed that only Russian bases used to launch missiles against Ukraine should be considered legitimate targets, and not other Russian bases or civilian infrastructure.

In statements alongside Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz maintained his habit of speaking more cautiously and avoided compromising, pointing out that under international law Ukraine “is authorized to defend itself.”

Scholz has insisted on avoiding actions that could end up dragging the NATO to a confrontation with Russia on the battlefield. Other Western leaders have expressed similar fears of a gradual escalation with much at stake.

That concern is shared by Washington. Over the past two years, the United States has been giving in to Ukrainian requests for support, sending tanks and long-range missile systems that it was initially reluctant to provide, although it delivered them with a clause that they would not be aimed at Russian territory. .

“At this time there are no changes in our position,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “We do not encourage or facilitate the use of weapons provided by USA to attack inside Russia.”

Western leaders want to increase pressure on Putin, whose forces have pressed hard in recent weeks against Ukrainian defenses in eastern and northeastern Ukraine.

A flood of new European aid was announced this week. Belgium and Spain each made promises of new military support to Ukraine estimated at around 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion). Sweden announced Wednesday that it would donate aid worth 13 billion crowns ($1.23 billion), the largest amount Stockholm has donated so far. The package will include anti-aircraft systems, artillery ammunition and armored vehicles.

Source: Gestion