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Britain allows Ukraine to fire its missiles at Russian territory

Britain allows Ukraine to fire its missiles at Russian territory Keir Starmer (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer indicated that Ukraine may use Storm Shadow missiles to target military objectives within Russia, affirming that he will continue the policy of the previous government, according to Bloomberg.

Starmer agreed that Ukraine should decide how to use the Storm Shadow missiles provided by the UK when asked by a Bloomberg reporter. He was speaking with journalists during a trip to the NATO summit in Washington.

The missiles are "obviously to be used in accordance with international humanitarian law as you would expect," added the Prime Minister, saying that he believes Storm Shadows should be used "for defensive purposes."

"But it is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy it for those defensive purposes," he said. Storm Shadows are precision-guided cruise missiles with a range of over 250 kilometers.

These remarks mark the first time Starmer has confirmed the new government's commitment to previous policy following his victory in the UK general elections last week.

They echo the words used by his predecessor Rishi Sunak's government, which never explicitly said that it allowed Ukraine to use Storm Shadows to strike Russian territory, but implied it by stating that Kyiv decides how to use them.

Commenting on Russia's strike on the Okhmatdyt children's hospital in Kyiv, Starmer said it was an "absolutely shocking, appalling attack that provided a very important if tragic backdrop to this summit." He added, "It’s the duty of everyone to describe it in those terms."

"My message to President Putin is this: this NATO summit should be seen as a clear and united resolve by NATO allies and others that are there at the same time to stand with Ukraine and stand up to Russian aggression," Starmer said.

Strikes on targets in Russia

Ukraine has said that it needs to strike military targets within Russia to protect itself and repel Russian attacks, and debates on this issue among its allies are one of the main topics to be discussed at the NATO summit.

Some European countries, such as the UK, have expressed support for Ukraine's stance, but the US government has so far resisted lifting all restrictions on the use of its weapons by Kyiv. The Biden administration has stated that it did not allow Ukrainian strikes deep into Russia, considering it a red line to prevent escalation with Moscow.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during his visit to the US on July 9, urged Washington to allow Ukraine to destroy Russian aviation on Russian territory.