Ukraine’s Top Adviser Calls for Lifting Restrictions on Western Weapons

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Ukraine’s top adviser, Andriy Yermak, has urged Western powers to lift restrictions on the use of Western weapons to strike Russian targets, saying it is “impossible to fight” effectively under current conditions. Yermak made the remarks at a public forum on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington, where he is leading a diplomatic push to convince President Joe Biden and other Western powers to drop the restrictions.

Yermak argued that the restrictions, which prohibit the use of Western weapons on Russian territory, are hindering Ukraine’s ability to effectively counter Russian aggression. “The enemy can directly attack our civilians, children, hospitals, schools, and we have these restrictions,” he said. “I think that it will be really a game-changer, and I hope that our partners understand it and agree [to] these decisions as soon as possible.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also been making the case for lifting the restrictions, arguing that Ukrainian forces could win the war if they were given the freedom to strike key Russian military bases. Zelensky’s message has resonated with some Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has endorsed more aggressive targeting of Russian forces.

However, the Biden administration has been cautious about lifting the restrictions, fearing that it could provoke a response from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team has demurred on the issue, saying that the policy is under review but refusing to comment on potential changes.

Yermak’s remarks come as Zelensky is set to meet with the North Atlantic Council on Thursday, where he will have another opportunity to press his case for lifting the restrictions.

Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke is a foreign affairs reporter, with an emphasis on U.S. competition with China and Russia, Middle East policy following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and the crisis in Venezuela. Previously, he covered domestic politics for National Review Online.

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