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Blinken in Congress: It is up to Ukraine to decide how to effectively use weapons provided by allies

Congress did not set restrictions on strikes on targets in Russia. 

Blinken in Congress: It is up to Ukraine to decide how to effectively use weapons provided by allies
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that the United States does not support or encourage the use of the supplied weapons for strikes outside Ukrainian territory, but Ukraine itself decides how to use them effectively. He said this at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Radio Liberty reports.

Blinken noted that the task of the United States and its allies is to supply Ukraine with weapons to repel Russian aggression. Blinken made a similar statement on 15 May during a visit to Kyiv.

At Wednesday's hearing, a number of members of Congress, including Republican committee chairman Michael McCaul, asked Blinken why the Joe Biden administration is prohibiting Ukraine from using US weapons to strike targets in Russia.

They suggested that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was the proponent of the ban, as Congress had not imposed such restrictions in its decisions to provide Ukraine with aid.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, also said that Ukraine should be allowed to fight "as it sees fit".

  • On 20 May, Pentagon Secretary Lloyd Austin, at a press conference following a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine's Defence, expressed his expectation that Ukraine would not use weapons outside the country.
  • After the start of the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv Region, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there should be no ban on the use of Western weapons to strike Russian territory, as it was not about Ukraine's offensive, but about defence.
  • On 22 May, a group of congressmen, members of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, urged Austin to allow Ukraine to strike targets in Russia with US weapons. 
  • Republicans in the US also wrote an open letter to Blinken accusing the presidential administration of creating "competition for resources" in the area of military aid. In particular, he referred to the provision of $60 million in arms to Kenya instead of Ukraine without the consent of Congress.
  • Earlier, former US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that the US and its allies should help Ukraine attack military targets in Russia.
  • Earlier, Politico wrote that Ukraine is trying to persuade Biden to lift the ban on the use of US weapons to strike Russia. It is noted that such a US policy did not allow Kyiv to attack Russian positions when they were preparing for their offensive in the Kharkiv Region.
  • Meanwhile, Britain has given the go-ahead to use its weapons to strike Russia. During his visit to Ukraine, UK Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said that the weapons provided by the British could be used to launch strikes on Russian territory. 
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