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Blinken Gives Ukraine the Nod To Attack Russia with U.S.-Supplied Weapons

Twice during his Kyiv press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba yesterday, reporters asked Blinken if the U.S. was refusing to allow the Kyiv regime to launch attacks directly into Russia with U.S.-supplied weapons, and both times Blinken refused to say yes. A Washington Post reporter noted that the Biden administration has made clear it doesn’t want Ukraine using U.S. equipment to strike onto Russian territory. “Does that ban make sense right now and are you considering relaxing it?” he asked.

“We have not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war...” Blinken replied, presumably with a wink and a nod. “And we will continue to back Ukraine with the equipment that it needs to succeed, that it needs to win.”

Then a Ukrainian reporter noted British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s recent statement that the U.K. would not object to Kyiv using British armaments to hit the territory of the Russian Federation. “When will you be ready to follow suit?” he asked.

“Again, we are determined that Ukraine win this war and succeed for its people and for its future,” Blinken said in response. “We’ve been clear about our own policy, but again, these are decisions that Ukraine has to make, Ukraine will make for itself. And we’re committed to making sure that Ukraine has the equipment it needs to succeed on the battlefield.”

Earlier in the press conference Blinken announced that the U.S. is providing a $2 billion military financing package which would be out into “a first-of-its-kind defense enterprise fund.” The package will have three components. “ One is to provide weapons today, so this will assist Ukraine in acquiring those weapons,” Blinken said. The second is focused on “investing in Ukraine’s defense industrial base, helping to strengthen even more its capacity to produce what it needs for itself but also to produce for others. And finally, using this fund to help Ukraine purchase military equipment from other countries, not just the United States, for Ukraine’s use.”

A related topic on the agenda is air defenses. Kyiv is demanding seven Patriot batteries two of which Kuleba specified are needed in the Kharkov region where Russia is making advances. Blinken promised that every effort to find those batteries and get them into Ukraine.