Zelensky ruled out strikes from Western weapons on Russian territory
The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) will not use Western weapons to attack Russian territory if they receive them, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN.
“We are not interested in Russian land … We do not have weapons to respond to shelling from the other side of the Dnieper. Therefore, I emphasize the need for long-range weapons, ”TASS quotes him as saying.
Obtaining long-range weapons will allow the Russian Armed Forces to be pushed further away from Ukrainian positions, he added. At the same time, Zelensky emphasized that Kyiv considers all the territories in 1991 to be its own.
The Ukrainian president also reiterated that he did not intend to negotiate with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, as he “does not keep his word.” Kyiv is ready for negotiations only after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territories, he added.
Kiev’s intention to receive long-range ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 km from Washington became known back in September 2022. After that, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the supply of such weapons capable of hitting Russian cities would mean “direct involvement of the United States in a military confrontation with Russia”. At the end of November, Washington announced that it was not supplying Kyiv with longer-range weapons because of the desire to avoid further escalation of the conflict. At the same time, the United States included GLSDB missiles in the next package of military assistance on February 3, capable of hitting at a distance of about 150 km.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly criticized the supply of Western weapons to Kyiv. In particular, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the supply of long-range weapons would only expand the geography of the special operation. The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov earlier in March noted that the supply of weapons would not be able to influence the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine, but such actions would make it “more protracted and with more sad consequences for the Ukrainian people.”