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France Urges to Lift Restrictions on Ukraine Striking Russian Territory

France’s head of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee urges a doctrinal shift, aligning with Washington and London. He calls for lifting the restriction on Kyiv striking Russian territory.

Facing Russia’s spring offensive expanding the zone of active hostilities by almost 70 kilometers in Kharkiv region, the use of Western weapons supplied to Kyiv is under reevaluation. Since the war began, Ukraine’s allies have imposed restrictions on Kyiv, asking not to hit targets on Russian soil to minimize escalation risks.

However, London in early May, a provider of Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine, explicitly authorized Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil.

The United States followed suit last week, granting Kyiv the freedom to make that choice.

In this context, Jean-Louis Bourlanges, President of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Modem deputy, issued a press release on Friday pressing France to “come out of its reserve and make a decision comparable to that of the British and Americans.” “The time seems ripe,” says the international affairs specialist, reminding that Paris “has been expressing for months its desire to be at the forefront of solidarity with Ukraine and inter-allied coordination.”

Jean-Louis Bourlanges argues that this doctrinal shift is entirely justified, as it eliminates the unacceptable asymmetry between the attacker’s and the defender’s situations. “The right to self-defense excludes the right to protect the territory of the aggressor. »

While Russia has struck all of Ukraine with long-range weaponry since the war’s beginning, including weapons provided by allies like North Korea and Iran, Kyiv has retaliated with strikes deep inside Russia using domestically produced weapons, primarily drones that have recently targeted energy facilities.

Western nations initially limited Ukraine’s use of their weapons to defense only, fearing an escalation of the conflict. However, in 2024, there were signs of a shift after the UK Foreign Secretary’s visit to Kyiv, where he stated that Ukraine could use British-provided weapons to strike Russian territory. Additionally, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, affirmed that Ukraine has the sovereign right to determine its course of action regarding its defense strategies.

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