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Borrell on Allowing Ukraine to Use Western weapons on Russian Territory: It is Quite Possible Under the Laws of War

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Photo: Borrell on Allowing Ukraine to Use Western weapons on Russian Territory: It is Quite Possible Under the Laws of War. Source: consilium.europa.eu
Photo: Borrell on Allowing Ukraine to Use Western weapons on Russian Territory: It is Quite Possible Under the Laws of War. Source: consilium.europa.eu

European Union High Representative Josep Borrell believes it is necessary to strike a balance between the ‘risk of escalation’ and the ‘need for Ukrainians to defend themselves’ when Western leaders decide to allow Ukrainian forces to use foreign weapons to strike at Russian territory. He said this before a meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

 ‘The question arises whether we will allow the use of weapons for targets from Ukrainian soil, as Jens Stoltenberg has recently suggested. Do we allow the use of our weapons on the territory of Russia further? Well, some member states have begun to address this by lifting this restriction.  According to the laws of war, this is quite possible. There is no contradiction,’ said the EU's top diplomat.

‘I could take revenge or fight against someone who is fighting against me from my territory. I'm sure some people will mention the risk of escalation. But you have to balance the risk of escalation with the need for Ukrainians to defend themselves,’ Borrell said. 

He emphasised the asymmetry of the situation, when the Russian army is launching missile terror in Ukraine from its territory every day.

‘Of course, you cannot go where the attacks are coming from. You are in a completely asymmetrical situation. This is becoming more and more crucial, because the attacks on Kyiv will come from Russian territory,’ the EU High Representative added.

He called it important that the NATO Secretary General stated that NATO countries should reconsider restrictions on the use of weapons provided to Ukraine. 

‘Yesterday we had important discussions on Ukraine at the Foreign Affairs Council. Today we will continue. Together with the defence ministers, we will be visited by Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, who has made important announcements in recent days. We will also be in touch with Ukrainian Defence Minister Umerov,’ said Josep Borrell.

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