Zelensky points to Russia’s ‘biggest advantage’ — RT World News


Ukraine’s president has claimed Kiev’s forces would be more successful on the battlefield if they were not banned from using Western-supplied weapons to hit targets in Russia.

Russia’s ability to strike Ukraine from its own soil is giving Moscow the edge in the conflict, Vladimir Zelensky said during an interview with AFP news agency on Friday.

“They can fire any weapons from their territory at ours. This is the biggest advantage that Russia has. We can’t do anything to their systems, which are located on the territory of Russia, with Western weapons,” he explained.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Kiev earlier this week, said Washington has “not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war.”

However, on Thursday Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh clarified that Washington’s position that Kiev should not target Russia with US-supplied weapons remains unchanged. Such arms can only be used to “take back Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Singh stressed.

Earlier this month, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron insisted Ukraine has the “right” to use UK-supplied weapons to strike targets deep inside Russia, if it decides to do so. Moscow reacted to the statement by warning that if such an attack were to take place it could target British military facilities “on the territory of Ukraine and beyond” in response.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Kiev has urged Washington to provide intelligence on targets on Russian soil amid setbacks in Donbass and Kharkov Region. According to the NYT, US officials are currently reviewing those requests, despite previously turning them down.

Zelensky said Kiev now finds itself in a “nonsensical situation” due to the stance of the West, which “is afraid that Russia will lose the war. And it does not want Ukraine to lose it.”

“Ukraine’s final victory will lead to Russia’s defeat. And the final victory of Russia will lead to Ukraine’s defeat,” he added.

The Ukrainian authorities “want the war to end with a fair peace for us. Of course, the West wants the war to end. Period. As soon as possible. And, for them, this is a fair peace,” the president stated.

On Friday, Russia President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow “never rejected negotiations unlike the Ukrainian side,” referring to a 2022 decree by Zelensky, which officially forbade him from talks with his Russian counterpart.

However, Putin stressed that Russia will not yield to “ultimatums” from Kiev and its Western backers as they try to gain though diplomacy what they have failed to gain on the battlefield.

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