Putin warns West not to let Ukraine use its missiles to hit Russia

May 29, 2024 7:20 am

[Source: Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Tuesday that NATO members in Europe were playing with fire by proposing to let Ukraine use Western weapons to strike inside Russia, which he said could trigger a global conflict.

More than two years into the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two, as the West considers what to do about Russian military advances, Putin is increasingly evoking the risk of a global war, while Western leaders play it down.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Economist, opens new tab that alliance members should let Ukraine strike deep into Russia with Western weapons, a view supported by some European members of the transatlantic alliance but not the United States.

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Russian forces have advanced into Ukraine’s Kharkiv province safe in the knowledge that Ukraine cannot attack missile launchers being fired deep inside Russia because it cannot use the Western missiles that have the required range.

Meanwhile, Western-made air defences cannot attempt to down Russian rockets until they cross the Ukrainian border, only 25 km (15 miles) or so from Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv.

Putin said Ukrainian strikes with long-range weapons would need Western satellite, intelligence and military help – so the West would have to be directly involved in such attacks.

He said sending French troops to Ukraine would also be a step towards global conflict and that smaller countries considering deeper involvement “should be aware of what they are playing with” as they had small land areas and dense populations.