News ID : 174905
Publish Date : 5/27/2024 9:15:05 AM
Is NATO inviting Russia to a "duel"?

Is NATO inviting Russia to a "duel"?

NOURNEWS – Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General whose ten-year term is ending, urged NATO allies supplying military aid to Ukraine to lift the ban on using these weapons to attack Russia. This request could be seen as NATO inviting Russia to a military duel. Are arms suppliers to Ukraine willing to risk confrontation with Moscow?

Ukraine has launched a new diplomatic effort to convince its allies to allow its forces to use NATO weapons to strike Russian territory. President Volodymyr Zelensky has given several interviews over the past week to persuade supporters to expand Ukraine's defense beyond its borders. In an interview with the New York Times, Zelensky emphasized, "What we have always asked of President Biden — and not only President Biden, but the leaders of many countries — is that we want to use the weapons for defense." Zelensky also called for permission to use British and French short- and long-range missiles to target Russia.

So far, both the U.S. and Europe have officially resisted allowing their military aid to be used for attacks on Russian soil. This explains the U.S.'s reluctance to supply F-16s and Germany's refusal to send Taurus long-range missiles.

However, recent remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv, echoed in Congress, were seen as a green light. He urged his country to lift restrictions on how Ukraine can use American weapons. According to U.S. media reports, this proposal is being considered by the White House. Blinken also told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Washington is ready to discuss the possibility of Ukraine using American weapons to attack targets deep within Russia.

Alongside this news, the U.S. announced $275 million in new military aid for Ukraine, including HIMARS ammunition, 155mm and 105mm artillery shells, Javelin anti-tank missiles, anti-armor mines, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear protective equipment.

Following this approach, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for arms transfers to Kyiv with permission to strike Russia. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron also stated that Ukraine can use British weapons to attack Russian soil. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said Western allies should lift restrictions on Ukraine’s use of their weapons, allowing Kyiv more freedom to attack Russia. These statements align with the recent comments from the NATO Secretary General.

Meanwhile, NATO-affiliated media have downplayed the significance of this strategic shift, arguing that it won't alter the balance of power on the battlefield but will only disrupt Russian supply lines, command structures, and logistics centers, thereby reducing the effectiveness of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

Independent media, however, believe such authorization will undoubtedly escalate tensions. Some analysts think using Western weapons to attack Russian territory could have significant geopolitical consequences, potentially provoking a strong and unpredictable response from Russia.

Given these circumstances, such permission, despite its tactical advantages for Ukraine on the battlefield, carries significant risks for Kyiv's supporters and allies. The question remains: why are the U.S. and Ukraine's European allies willing to take this risk now?

Observers see three main reasons for this situation. First, the battlefield reality shows Ukraine is struggling. The country faces shortages in both ammunition and manpower. Its economy is collapsing, and the outlook is bleak. In response, Ukraine's Ministry of Justice announced that thousands of prisoners will join the military to address the manpower shortage after a new law was signed by the president. Ukraine has also lowered the military service age from 27 to 26 to increase its forces.

Second, recent advances by Russia are a concern. Last week, Russian forces took control of two more areas in Kharkiv and one in southern Zaporizhzhia.

Third, the possible return of Donald Trump could mean an end to U.S. financial and military support for Ukraine. Zelensky is using these three factors to try to convince the U.S. and Europe to support attacks on Russia. Now, we wait to see if NATO decides to expand the conflict to stop Moscow's advances.


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