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UK says Ukraine can use British weapons to strike inside Russia

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David Cameron at a meeting in Kyiv

Ukraine has the right to use British weapons to strike targets inside Russia, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Thursday as he traveled to Kyiv to discuss $3.7 billion in annual military aid.

Cameron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that Britain will spend 2.5% of GDP on defense, including at least £3 billion ($3.74 billion) in annual military aid for Ukraine.

Talking to reporters, Cameron said Ukraine can use weapons supplied by the UK to strike targets inside Russia. Many Western countries have been reluctant to give express approval for such use, fearing escalation with Russia.

“Ukraine has that right. Just as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it’s defending itself,” Cameron told Reuters.

The foreign secretary said: “In our view, it is their decision about how to use these weapons. They’re defending their country, they were illegally invaded by Putin and they must take those steps.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned Cameron’s comments as “very dangerous” and a “direct escalation” of the conflict.

“This is direct escalation of tension around the Ukrainian conflict, which could potentially pose a danger to European security, the entire European security architecture,” Peskov said on Friday.

During his visit to Ukraine, Cameron also provided details about the UK’s latest donation of military equipment, which includes precision-guided bombs, air defense missiles and equipment for 100 mobile air defense teams, enabling Ukraine to shoot down Russian drones and missiles.

Cameron also announced a £36 million ($45.2 million) package for Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, including £20 million ($25.1 million) of emergency funding to help recovery efforts from Russia’s recent attacks on national infrastructure.

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