As US hesitates, Europe eases Ukraine restrictions

Photo of author

By Creative Media News

  • Europe eases military aid restrictions to Ukraine amid Russian threats
  • Ukraine repels Russian advances, destroys significant enemy equipment
  • NATO allies support Ukraine’s right to strike within Russia

During the past week, Europe began to relax some of its self-imposed restrictions on providing military assistance to Ukraine. The United States maintained a cautious stance, and Russia issued a warning against actions that could result in “a World War” – a frequently expressed threat to use nuclear weapons.

On the ground, Ukraine halted the Russian advance in its northern Kharkiv region, reclaiming some territory northeast of Lyptsi, and maintained the defense of Chasiv Yar, a strategically significant settlement on the eastern front.

On Sunday, the Military Media Centre reported that it had destroyed 81 tanks and 153 armored vehicles, as well as slain or wounded 8,650 Russian soldiers in a week, which is the equivalent of 17 battalions. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the losses suffered by Russia in Kharkiv were eight times greater than those of Ukraine.

However, he cautioned that Belgorod, located northwest of Kharkiv, was undergoing the development of new Russian offensive forces.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his willingness to permit Ukraine to employ French armaments to conduct strikes within Russia. This demand has been raised by Ukraine with increased urgency following the Kharkiv incursion on May 10.

During a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a three-day trip to Germany, Macron stated, “We believe that we should allow them to neutralize the military sites from which the missiles are fired and, in essence, the military sites from which Ukraine is attacked.”

“Bases in Russia are conducting attacks on Ukrainian soil.” Therefore, how can we elucidate to the Ukrainians that we must safeguard these towns? “What if we inform them that you are prohibited from striking the missile launcher?”

Macron emphasized that civilian facilities were not targetable.

His declaration was issued the day following the destruction of a retail center in Kharkiv by Russian missiles, which resulted in the deaths of 16 individuals and the hospitalization of 45 others. Numerous individuals remain absent.

“This assault on Kharkiv is yet another example of Russian lunacy.” There is literally no other way to refer to it. Zelenskyy proclaimed that only individuals who are insane, such as Putin, are capable of killing and terrorizing individuals in such a vile manner.

Ukraine has declared that it is necessary to strike Russia’s missile launch sites and airfields, as its air defenses are frequently insufficient to intercept hailstorms of missiles and drones launched from Crimea and Russia.

Russia deploys approximately 3,000 glide bombs per month from these airfields. These bombs are substantial munitions that typically weigh 250kg or 500kg (550lb or 1100lb). Military analysts contend that these bombs have significantly contributed to Russia’s advantage on the battlefield.

At present, Ukraine is limited to shooting down the glide bomb-delivering bombers, which it has done twice this week. On May 22, it fired down Sukhoi-25s over Kharkiv, and the following day, it did the same over Donetsk. It has also partially blinded Russian pilots by grounding their A-50 radar aircraft, which are used for surveillance and targeting.

However, Ukraine contends that this is inadequate due to the ongoing influx of Russian missiles, glide bombs, and drones, as well as the advent of new ground invasions. Additionally, it is necessary to strike airfields, missile launch sites, and offensive battalions that are marshaling on Russian soil a few kilometers from the Ukrainian frontier.

In Kharkiv on Sunday, Zelenskyy declared that a new ground invasion was imminent while standing in a printing press that had been bombed. “Russia is preparing for offensive actions in the 90km [56 miles] northwest direction, where they are gathering an additional group of troops near our border,” he informed reporters.

Currently, Ukraine is only capable of striking Russia with its Soviet-era S-200/S-300 air defense missiles or domestically produced drones, which are susceptible to being shot down by Russian air defenses due to their tiny charges.

Ukraine’s NATO allies have begun to acknowledge this, and on Monday, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly voted to expedite the delivery of armaments and expand their use.

The adopted Declaration 489 urged allies to “support Ukraine in its international right to defend itself by lifting some restrictions on the use of weapons provided by NATO Allies to strike legitimate targets in Russia.

The most remarkable aspect was that NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg defied the policy of the alliance’s most prominent member, the United States, by encouraging allies to do so.

Stoltenberg informed The Economist that it is now time for allies to evaluate whether it is necessary to relax some of the constraints they have imposed on the use of armaments they have donated to Ukraine.

Denying Ukraine the ability to employ these weapons against legitimate military targets on Russian territory is particularly challenging at this time, given the significant amount of combat taking place in Kharkiv, which is situated in close proximity to the Russian border.

Macron is not the initial NATO leader to alleviate the restrictions.

David Cameron, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, conducted this action during his visit to Kyiv on May 3.

Since May 2023, Ukraine has been equipped with the 250km-range (155-mile) Scalp/Storm Shadow missile, which has been its longest-range weapon for a year. The United States has recently provided the 300km-range (186-mile) ATACMS missile.

The US Pentagon’s spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, stated on Wednesday that “Our position has not changed in terms of how we believe the Ukrainians can be successful on the battlefield,” despite the NATO declaration. However, I defer to the governments of other nations to address the armaments they have provided.

However, its stance appeared to be the subject of controversy.

According to The New York Times, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was at odds with his colleagues regarding the prohibition of U.S. weapons in Russia.

Blinken previously stated during a visit to Kyiv on May 15, “We have not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine must make decisions for itself regarding the conduct of this war,” a statement that appeared to suggest a change in policy.

On Friday, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, stated at a news conference in Belarus that the White House was not in any kind of predicament: “Washington is attempting to…” to falsely assert that the decision has not yet been made. This is a deception. We are sure that weapons supplied by the United States and other Western nations are being employed to designate targets on Russian soil.

On Monday, Chancellor Scholz informed reporters that Ukraine could strike military sites within Russia, which resulted in Germany, the other main holdout, shifting towards Macron’s stance.

Scholz stated, “Under international law, Ukraine can do so.” “It must be explicitly stated that Ukraine can defend itself in the event of an attack.

Scholz still needs to modify his position regarding the provision of 500km-range (316-mile) Taurus missiles, which are manufactured by Germany and have been requested by Ukraine.

The traditionally forthright Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on X that “Americans hitting our targets means starting a world war.” Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning that there would be “serious consequences” if Ukraine used European weapons inside Russia.

However, France was already engaged in discussions regarding the lifting of another NATO prohibition and the deployment of its forces to train Ukrainian units within Ukraine. Stoltenberg disapproved of this action.

Oleksandr Syrskii, the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief, announced on Telegram that French instructors would shortly “visit” training facilities on Ukrainian soil.

On Monday, he wrote, “I am in favor of France’s initiative to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian military personnel.” “I have already executed the documents that will permit the initial French instructors to visit our training centers in the near future.”

“Unlock your financial potential with free Webull shares in the UK.”

Poland, another significant ally of Ukraine, has expressed its intention to eliminate an additional taboo: the act of firing down incoming Russian missiles from its airspace. Ukraine requested that its allies take this action after an international task force in the Red Sea assisted in the destruction of 307 Iranian missiles and drones that were en route to Israel on April 13.

The week also saw the signing of three new multiyear bilateral military agreements by Ukraine with Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. Belgium has committed to sending 30 F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine by 2028, while Spain and Belgium have each pledged 1 billion euros ($1.1bn) in aid this year. Ukraine has declared that it requires 120-130 F-16s to safeguard its airspace.

None of the members of the alliance supported the acceleration and expansion of military aid to Ukraine.

In an interview with Kossuth Radio, Hungary’s Viktor Orban expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that NATO would not become a party to the conflict and that Brussels had “task forces” examining potential methods for NATO to participate in the conflict.

“Hungary is opposed to this.” Orban was quoted by the Russian state news agency TASS as stating that the government is working diligently to determine a way to avoid participating in the conflict while remaining a NATO member. “There are few instances in NATO’s history where member states have publicly expressed a unique perspective, as Hungary is currently doing.”

Hungary has prohibited the transit of military aid through its territory to Ukraine and maintains robust economic and energy relations with Russia.

Read More

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content