NYT: White House debates whether to weaken ban on U.S. weapons strikes on Russia

The consensus in the White House on the ban imposed on Kiev to strike Russian territory with American weapons has begun to crumble, writes The New York Times. As the article notes, after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s sobering visit to Kiev, the Biden administration, at the State Department’s behest, is actively debating whether to relax the ban.

Since the first American deliveries of advanced weapons to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has never wavered from one ban: Zelensky had to agree never to strike Russian territory with those weapons, The New York Times writes.

But the consensus around this policy is disintegrating. There is now a vigorous debate within the Biden administration, at the State Department’s behest, about weakening that ban to allow the Ukrainians to strike missile and artillery launchers located just across the border in Russian territory. These facilities, Zelensky said, have contributed to the recent successes of Russian forces.

The proposal, put forward by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken after a recent “sobering visit” to Kiev, is still taking shape, and it is unclear how many members of Biden’s inner circle support it.

According to officials, the proposal has not yet been formally presented to the US president, who is traditionally the most cautious.