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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 20 – 31 May, 2024

This week, the attention of international experts and the media has been focused mainly on allowing Ukraine to use Western weapons to attack military bases in the russian federation. Currently, there are active debates among European politicians on this issue. French President Emmanuel Macron has aptly stated that the transfer of long-range weapons to Ukraine that can hit military targets in russia is not an escalation of the conflict, because only moscow organizes escalation.


In an article from The Wall Street Journal, the author argues that the strategy the Biden administration is currently imposing on Ukraine is both helping and hindering the war efforts. By controlling what Ukraine can and cannot attack with American weapons, the United States has made this war much longer than it should have been.


So, the US has provided russia with a huge strategic sanctuary. The Russians don't have to worry about having the forces to defend their own border, but they can attack wherever and however they want. And Ukraine can shoot at the russians only after the russians are well prepared for battle. This strategy is foolish.


The Biden administration fears that putin will escalate if Kyiv strikes russian territory with missiles and drones made in the United States. But it is important to take into account the case of Crimea. During the first two years of the war, the United States also did not provide Ukraine with anything that could reach Crimea. Later, Ukraine was provided with such missiles. Ukrainians used ATACMS missiles to destroy a russian warship in Sevastopol. The Russians haven’t escalated. And so it is better to give Ukraine the best now to win without fear of escalation.


As part of this issue, this week Macron authorized Ukraine to use French missiles to strike military bases in russia. French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the transfer of long-range weapons to Ukraine that can hit military targets in russia is not an escalation of the conflict. However, the Biden administration is still reluctant to take any such steps, an approach that allies criticize as giving moscow a decisive advantage on the battlefield. Le Monde writes about this.


In addition, Le Monde notes that as part of a bilateral security agreement, Belgium is committed to supplying Kyiv with 30 F-16 fighters by 2028


According to Bloomberg, the European Union intends to start negotiations with Ukraine on joining the bloc on June 25. Almost all 27 member states supported the start of negotiations.


According to various sources, the Ukrainian leadership has recently asked the administration of US President Joe Biden to help identify targets in russia that Kyiv could strike with its own weapons. Ukraine has also asked the United States to lift restrictions on the use of US provided weapons on military targets in russia. So far, several partner countries have directly or indirectly expressed support for Ukraine in this regard. We expect a positive decision from the United States as well. For my part, I believe that Ukraine should be allowed to at least neutralize the military facilities from which Ukraine is being attacked.



The U.S. has been so powerful for so long that it has forgotten what it means to fight an existential war. It certainly has forgotten how to win one.


The strategy the Biden administration is now imposing on Ukraine has both aided its war efforts and hobbled it at the same time. By controlling what Ukraine can and can’t attack with American weapons, the U.S. has made it a much longer and more destructive war than it had to be. The Biden administration’s fear is that Vladimir Putin will escalate if Kyiv strikes Russian territory with missiles and drones bearing a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo. Mr. Putin delights in spreading such fear. He has repeatedly threatened nuclear armageddon if the Ukrainians crossed this red line or that. Yet he has always backed down.

 


French President Emmanuel Macron said Ukrainian forces are allowed to use powerful cruise missiles supplied by France to strike inside Russia on the condition the weapons are only used to take out military sites that have fired on Ukraine.

 

The comments, made during a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, came as Ukraine and its European allies have begun to press the Biden administration to ease restrictions on the use of Western weapons to target Russian territory.

 


Sweden, on Wednesday, May 29, pledged a military aid package of 13.3 billion kronor ($1.25 billion) to Ukraine, as Kyiv struggles with multiple delays of vital Western military support in the third year of war with Russia.


The Scandinavian country, which formally joined NATO in March, will donate a range of material, including ASC 890 surveillance aircraft, Rb 99 medium-range air-to-air missiles and artillery ammunition, and all of its model 302 armoured infantry fighting vehicles.

 



Kyiv should be allowed to "neutralize" Russian military bases from where Moscow troops are firing missiles into Ukraine, France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, May 28.


"We think that we should allow them to neutralize military sites where missiles are fired, from where (...) Ukraine is attacked," said Macron. He stressed however that "we should not allow them to touch other targets in Russia, and obviously civilian capacities."


His comments – on a state visit to Germany, during a press conference alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz – come as calls grow to allow Ukraine to strike inside Russia using Western-supplied longer-range weapons.




Belgium on Tuesday, May 28, committed to delivering 30 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by 2028, to help Kyiv battle Russia's invasion, at the start of a visit by Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. The pledge was made as part of a bilateral security and long-term support accord signed by Zelensky and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the latest in a string of similar Ukrainian accords with Western allies.

 



The European Union is aiming to start negotiations as early as June 25 with Ukraine on becoming a member of the bloc to help boost Kyiv’s morale, but has yet to fully overcome objections from Hungary.


Almost all 27 member states were supportive of launching the negotiations around the time of the General Affairs Council meeting taking place in Luxembourg on June 25, according to people familiar with the matter.

 



NATO needs to send a signal that it will contain "Russian imperialism" and every move to aid Ukraine will help it do this, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Wednesday, as the military alliance meets this week to discuss support for Kyiv.

Earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged allies to step up aid and involvement in the war in an interview with Reuters, as Ukraine's forces come under growing pressure under along more than 1,000 km of front lines and after weapons deliveries were delayed for months by internal political wrangling.

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