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Italian officials decry remarks by NATO head about Ukraine using Western arms on Russia
By Ramon Tomey // May 30, 2024

Italian officials have rebuked remarks by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg about Ukraine using Western arms on Russia, claiming that such comments escalate tensions with Moscow.

During an interview with the Economist magazine, the NATO head claimed that "the time has come" for the bloc to reconsider their policies and allow Ukraine to use Western weapons to launch strikes deep into Russian territory. In particular, he cited the region of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine as an example of where Western arms can be used.

"I don't know why Stoltenberg said such a thing," Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told the Rai 3 TV channel on May 26. "I think we have to be very careful. NATO must remain firm, not give the signal that it is giving in, [yet exercise] greater caution."

According to Meloni, "there are many questionable statements." She recounted her denouncement of French President Emmanuel Macron over his remarks on potentially sending troops to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told an election rally on May 26 that the NATO head "cannot speak on behalf of the Italian people." (Related: Oblivious NATO chief tells members to stand up to "authoritarian powers" – does this include NATO member nation tyranny?)

"NATO cannot force us to kill in Russia, nor can anyone force us to send Italian soldiers to fight or die in Ukraine," he said. According to Salvini, Rome is sending weapons to Kyiv only to "defend itself" against attacks and not to "fight, strike and kill outside its territory."

The deputy prime minister also issued a challenge to Stoltenberg: "This gentleman should either ask for forgiveness, rectify his remarks or resign."

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who also serves as deputy prime minister, agreed with Salvini's remarks. He insisted that the weaponry Rome sends to Kyiv must only "be used inside Ukraine."

Russia warns Stoltenberg against further escalation

Even Russia has warned the NATO secretary-general against his rhetoric. Speaking to the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov replied to Stoltenberg's remarks to the Economist.

"NATO is increasing the degree of escalation," Peskov said, adding that the Russian Armed Forces knew what to do. "NATO is flirting with military rhetoric and falling into military ecstasy."

When asked by the newspaper if NATO was approaching a direct confrontation with Russia, the Kremlin spokesman answered in the affirmative. "They are not getting close; they are in it," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned the West that it is risking a global war over Ukraine. A direct conflict between Russia and NATO would mean the planet was one step away from World War III.

According to the Economist magazine, the NATO secretary-general's remarks in his interview were clearly aimed at U.S. President Joe Biden, who has resisted allowing Ukraine to strike inside Russia. While Washington has repeatedly said that it does not encourage Ukraine to launch attacks inside Russia, Kyiv has been lobbying hard to do so. (Related: Ukraine conducts first strike using U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles, allegedly destroying 9 Russian helicopters and 2 airfields.)

Stoltenberg's comments also come at a time when Western leaders are making increasingly bold statements about attacks on Russian territory. However, according to Moscow, the claims of existing restrictions on the use of American munitions are false and designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict.

"We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weaponry strikes targets on the territory of Russia, primarily civilian infrastructure and other residential areas," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He noted that U.S. weapons – such as ATACMS missiles armed with cluster warheads – have already been used on attacks against Russia, including strikes against civilian targets.

Watch this clip of Ukraine targeting Russian nuclear early warning radars with Western-supplied weapons.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Defense chief offers Ukraine to be "testing ground" for NATO weapons.

NATO members are running out of weapons that they can send to Ukraine.

Russia threatens retaliation against British targets if Kyiv uses UK-provided missiles to strike Russian territory.

Russian electronic warfare systems are successfully disabling "sophisticated" US-supplied Ukrainian weapons.

Sources include:




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