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Biden partially lifts ban on Ukraine using US weapons to strike Russia

The Biden administration has partially lifted a ban on Ukrainian forces using U.S. arms to strike within Russian territory in a bid to defend Kharkiv, a U.S. official confirmed Thursday.

President Biden “recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S.-supplied weapons for counter-fire purposes in the Kharkiv region so Ukraine can hit back against Russian forces that are attacking them or preparing to attack them,” a U.S. official told The Hill.

But they stressed that the administration’s policy to not allow the use of ATACMS or long-range strikes inside of Russia “has not changed.”

The move, first reported by Politico, is a major rollback of the staunch U.S. policy to prohibit American-provided weapons from being used by Kyiv’s forces to hit targets over the border with Russia, a position that Washington kept to prevent an escalation of the conflict.

Ukraine has recently ramped up pressure on U.S. officials to change their position, while Russia has warned of “serious consequences” if Western weapons strike its soil.

Alex Gangitano contributed reporting

Source: The Hill

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