Latvian Foreign Minister Urged NATO to Greenlight Ukrainian Airstrikes Inside of Russia

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics recently urged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to allow Ukraine to carry out strikes inside of Russian soil. According to Kyle Anzalone of the Libertarian Institute, Rinkevics said that “the alliance should not fear Moscow’s response.”

Thus far, the United States government has declined to send Ukraine missiles with the capacity of striking targets inside of Russia.

During an interview at NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, Rinkevics declared”[w]e should allow Ukrainians to use weapons to target missile sites or air fields from where those operations are being launched.” Allies “should not fear” a firm response from Russia, he continued.

While the US government has not made a public proclamation that Ukraine cannot carry out direct strikes on Russian soil, President Joe Biden said back in May, “we’re not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia.”

Currently, Ukraine is looking to acquire Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) that possess a range of approximately 186 miles. Thus far, the US government has only sent Ukraine missiles with a range of 50 miles.

Back in June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a bold threat that if Ukraine received missile systems that would allow it to hit targets inside of Russia, the Russian government would annex additional Ukrainian territory. “The longer the range of armaments that you will supply, the further away we will move from our territory the line,” he declared.

Indeed, increasing military aid to Ukraine that’s more lethal and escalatory in nature, will compel Russia to pursue more maximalist foreign policy aims. The result will be a further loss of life that could have been otherwise avoided with a saner foreign policy.

To be sure, Baltic states like Latvia have legitimate historical grievances with Russia. But guess what? The US is not a Baltic state, therefore it is not compelled to defend them during times of geopolitical tensions with Russia.

The ultimate function of the US government is to defend the American people and the nation’s territorial integrity; not the territorial integrity of foreign countries.  Moreover, it should not get entangled in historical beefs that countries thousands of miles away engage in.

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