Berlin allows Ukraine to fire German weapons at targets in Russia

AFP - [email protected]
Berlin allows Ukraine to fire German weapons at targets in Russia
A soldier in the Ukrainian military solutes President Vlodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire | President Of Ukraine

Germany has given Ukraine permission to fire German-delivered weapons at targets in Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's spokesman said Friday, matching a move by the United States.


Kyiv had the "right under international law to defend itself" against attacks coming from inside Russia, close to the border with Ukraine, Steffen Hebestreit said in a statement.

Russian attacks from its own territory had increased in recent weeks, in particular around the northeastern city of Kharkiv, where Moscow's forces have opened a new front in the war, Hebestreit said.

Germany and other Western allies supporting Ukraine's defence were "convinced that Ukraine has the right... to defend itself against these attacks", Hebestreit said.

"To this end, it can also use the weapons supplied for this purpose... including those supplied by us."

Germany, Kyiv's biggest military backer behind only the United States, has delivered stacks of military equipment to Ukraine, including heavy artillery and rocket launchers.

Berlin has up until now been reluctant to allow Ukraine to use German weapons to strike Russian targets for fear of escalating the conflict.

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But with Ukrainian forces coming under increased pressure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with Western allies for more weapons and a freer hand in deploying those already delivered.


The issue was on the agenda as French President Emmanuel Macron visited Germany earlier in the week.

Kyiv should be allowed to "neutralise" Russian military bases used to fire missiles into Ukraine, Macron said Tuesday in a press conference with Scholz.

Subsequently, officials in Washington indicated on Thursday that President Joe Biden had lifted restrictions on US-supplied weapons to allow Kyiv to hit targets in Russia in defence of the Kharkiv region.

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