Blinken Pushing To Let Ukraine Hit Russian Territory With US Weapons

Many members of Congress are also calling for President Biden to lift the ban, which risks a major escalation

May 23, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is leading a push within the Biden administration to allow Ukraine to use US-provided missile systems and other weapons to hit Russian territory, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The report said there is a “vigorous debate” within the administration in the wake of Russia’s new offensive in Kharkiv, which was launched from over the border in Russia’s Belgorod oblast.

It’s unclear how many other high-level officials agree with Blinken, but the pressure is growing on President Biden to lift the prohibition on Ukraine using US weapons on Russian territory, a ban that, according to the Times, is designed to “avoid World War III.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and many other members of Congress are also calling to lift the ban. Ultra-hawk Victoria Nuland, who left the State Department in March, appeared on ABC News this week to make the pitch for Ukraine to extend its use of US weapons to Russian territory.

“I think there’s also a question of whether we, the United States and our allies, ought to give them more help in hitting Russian bases, which heretofore we have not been willing to do,” Nuland said.

“I think if the attacks are coming directly from over the line in Russia, that those bases ought to be fair game, whether they are where missiles are being launched from or where they are where troops are being supplied from,” she added.

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Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.” The warning came after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine had the “right” to use British arms in attacks on Russia.

Russia is currently conducting tactical nuclear drills that it launched in response to provocative rhetoric from Western officials about sending troops to Ukraine. The Times report said that the US was also considering deploying troops for training, although Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said there were “no plans” to do so at the moment.

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