A delegation of Ukrainian officials is now in Washington, seeking to persuade the US Congress to lift the ban on using American-supplied weapons for strikes on Russian soil, Politico reports.

The Biden administration's transfer of long-range weaponry to Ukraine came with the stipulation that these arms not be used against targets within Russia, even if those targets are launching attacks on Ukraine.

Ukrainian leaders argue this restriction hampers their military efforts, especially in light of renewed Russian offensives in the Kharkiv region.

David Arakhamia, chair of the ruling Servant of the People party in the Ukrainian parliament, described the White House's policy of restricting strikes inside Russia as a major hindrance during his visit to Washington.

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“The main problem right now is the White House policy to limit our capability to strike military targets inside Russia,” Arakhamia said during a visit to Washington on Tuesday, May 14.

“We saw their military sitting one or two kilometres from the border inside Russia and there was nothing we could do about that,” Oleksandra Ustinova, head of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commission on Arms and Ammunition, said, highlighting the frustration of Ukrainian forces.

“You give us a stick, but you don't let us use it,” Ustinova added.

Ukrainian parliamentarians have scheduled meetings with over ten US congressional offices to lobby for a change in policy. Despite their efforts, two American officials confirmed to Politico that the Biden administration's stance remains unchanged.

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“The aid is intended for defense, not for offensive operations on Russian territory,” one official stated.

Meanwhile, US officials are increasingly concerned that Russia’s strategy, bolstered by potential new military units and ammunition supplies from China, combined with waning Western support for Kyiv, might enable Moscow to negotiate from a position of strength by the end of 2024, according to three sources cited by Politico.

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The renewed Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region began on May 10. The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed the capture of several villages.

By May 14, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported repositioning to more favorable locations near Volchansk and Lukyants in northern Kharkiv.

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky acknowledged that the situation in the region had significantly deteriorated.

The restriction on using American weapons against Russian targets has been in place since Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022.

Contrastingly, the United Kingdom recently lifted a similar restriction, with Foreign Minister David Cameron affirming Ukraine’s right to strike within Russia. This stance was sharply criticized by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who claimed it to be a “direct escalation of tension.”

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