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Ukraine has right to destroy missile launchers targeting Kharkiv, Stoltenberg

Ukraine has right to destroy missile launchers targeting Kharkiv, Stoltenberg NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine has the full right to destroy the missile launchers that Russia uses to strike at the territory of Kharkiv and the region, says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Russia is responsible for a war of aggression, they have invaded Ukraine...According to international law, Ukraine has the right to self-defense and the right of self-defense includes also the right to strike legitimate military targets on the territory of the aggressor, Russia...We have provided 99% of military assistance to Ukraine, although there are still some restrictions on the use of these weapons,” Stoltenberg said.

The NATO Secretary General adds that the Alliance will soon ease these restrictions in connection with the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region.

"But after Russia opened the front against Kharkiv, then actually the frontline and the borderline is more or less the same. And Russia is launching missile attacks, artillery attacks, air attacks from bases, airfields in Russia directly against Ukrainian territory over the border. And it would really undermine Ukraine's ability to defend itself, to uphold the right to self-defense if it wasn’t possible for them to use weapons to repel those attacks. So this is the reason why I also welcome that some Allies have eased the restrictions,” the NATO Secretary General said.

He also noted that NATO will not send its troops to Ukraine, as it is “not a party to the conflict.”

From the very beginning, NATO has stated that it supports Ukraine and it has indeed provided great support to Ukraine, he said, adding that they agreed to train the Ukrainian military.

He recalled that NATO always stressed that it was not a party to the conflict. "That is why we are not sending our troops to Ukraine," Stoltenberg said.

Strikes on Russian territory with Western weapons

In early May this year, Russia launched a second offensive north of the Kharkiv region. Russia has been shelling settlements with bombs and ballistic missiles that have no means of shooting down.

Because of this, Ukraine has asked its partner countries to allow it to attack Russia's targets with Western weapons.

Several countries have already given their permission, namely the United Kingdom and the United States. However, the United States allowed using American weapons for strikes, but only in the area of the state border in the Kharkiv region and not by ATACMS ballistic missiles.