NATO Gives Ukraine Permission To Use F-16 Jets To Attack Targets Inside Russia

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NATO has given Ukraine the green light to use F-16 fighter jets supplied by the West, to launch attacks inside Russia.

Kiev has a right to self-defense included striking Russian targets outside of Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned.

Newsweek reports: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine has a right to use its Western-supplied weapons to defend itself against Russia, even if that includes striking targets within Russia’s borders.

“This is Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, which is a blatant violation of international law,” Stoltenberg told Radio Liberty during an interview on Tuesday.

“And according to international law, Ukraine has the right to self-defense. And it also includes strikes against legitimate military targets, Russian military targets outside of Ukraine. That’s international law, and of course, Ukraine has the right to do that to defend itself.”

A NATO official confirmed with Financial Times on Thursday that Stoltenberg meant that Kyiv’s right to self-defense included striking Russian military targets outside of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned against Ukraine using its Western-supplied equipment to launch attacks on Russian territory, saying that doing so could risk escalating the conflict. The warnings had originally made allies like the United States hold off on supplying Kyiv with long-range weapons capable of reaching Russia, but NATO allies have since given Ukraine such arms.

Putin said last month that Russian investigators found that a U.S.-made Patriot air defense system was used to shoot down an Ilyushin II-76 military transport plane while it was in Russian territory. Washington has provided Kyiv with several of the surface-to-air systems and additional artillery for the weapons.

Niamh Harris
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