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Zelensky applauds US weapon approval as “key progress”

Zelensky applauds US weapon approval as “key progress”

Zelensky applauds US weapon approval as “key progress”

Zelensky applauds US weapon approval as “key progress”

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  • Washington grants permission for Ukraine to use US weapons in defending its Kharkiv region on the border with Russia.
  • Germany permits Ukraine to use German-delivered weapons to strike targets in Russia.
  • Italy Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani states it is impossible to use weapons outside of Ukraine.
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On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised a US decision to partially lift restrictions on the use of US-donated weapons for striking inside Russia as a “step forward.” Washington granted permission on Thursday for Ukraine to utilize US weapons in defending its Kharkiv region on the border with Russia, overcoming prior concerns that authorizing such strikes could draw NATO into a direct conflict with Russia.

“This is a step forward toward (the) goal… of making it possible to defend our people who live in the villages on the border,” Zelensky said during a visit to Stockholm.

On Friday, Germany announced that it had also permitted Ukraine to use German-delivered weapons to strike targets in Russia. Steffen Hebestreit, spokesman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, stated that Kyiv has the “right under international law to defend itself” against attacks originating from inside Russia, near the Ukrainian border.

“To this end, it can also use the weapons supplied for this purpose… including those supplied by us,” he said.

On Thursday, the Kremlin accused the West of “entering a new round of escalations in tensions.” Then, on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that US-made weapons “are already being used to attempt strikes on Russian territory.”

“This is quite eloquent evidence of the extent of US involvement in this conflict,” he said.

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Speaking to reporters at a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Prague, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded, “This is part of efforts by President (Vladimir) Putin and Moscow to prevent NATO allies from supporting Ukraine to defend themselves.”

“Ukraine has the right to self-defense and we have the right to help Ukraine,” he said.

However, divisions on the issue between NATO member states have emerged.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stated, “For Italy, it is impossible to use our weapons outside of Ukraine.”

“We are not fighting against Russia. We’re defending Ukraine and it is not the same,” he said.

US officials attributed the change in Washington’s thinking to Russia’s daily pounding of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second biggest city. Officials reported that in the latest Russian strikes on the city overnight, six people were killed and 25 wounded, including two children. Yulia, a resident who fled to a basement for shelter during the night, said she heard several explosions.

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“We are all just shocked by what we experienced. Honestly, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” she told news.

“These are monsters, these are not people. People cannot do such a thing in the 21st century,” she said.

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