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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Ukraine says allies can down Russian missiles over its territory

Comments from Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba came as Moscow began nuclear weapons drills close to Ukraine

By AFP
May 22, 2024
A view shows howitzers, which were handed over by the Wagner mercenary group to Russias regular armed forces, according to Russian Defence Ministry, at an undisclosed location, in this still image taken from video released July 12, 2023. — Reuters/file
A view shows howitzers, which were handed over by the Wagner mercenary group to Russia's regular armed forces, according to Russian Defence Ministry, at an undisclosed location, in this still image taken from video released July 12, 2023. — Reuters/file 

KYIV, Ukraine: Ukraine said on Tuesday that its allies could shoot down Russian missiles from their own territory, an apparent appeal stemming from the war-torn country´s critical lack of air defence systems.

The comments from Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba came as Moscow began nuclear weapons drills close to Ukraine, in what Moscow said was a response to Western “threats”.

Kuleba suggested that Ukraine´s allies could intercept Russian missiles from abroad during a press conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, who warned that delaying aid to Ukraine also put Western countries´ security at risk.

Kyiv has urged the West to bolster its air defence systems in the wake of new Russian strikes that have crippled energy facilities, and a ground offensive that saw Kyiv cede several border villages in the northeast.

“There is no legal, security or moral argument that stands in the way of our partners shooting down Russian missiles over the territory of Ukraine from their territory,” Kuleba said.

“If you don´t want to do it, then just provide us with all the means necessary for this. We will deploy them on the territory of Ukraine and intercept these missiles ourselves,” he said.

The visit from Baerbock, who voiced concern on her arrival about the worsening situation on the front lines for Ukraine, began just after more than two dozen Russian drones targeted Ukraine overnight. Speaking with Kuleba, she acknowledged the importance of providing air defence systems to Ukraine and said delays in providing military support to Ukraine harmed the West´s security.