After attack on Moscow, UK says Ukraine has right to defend itself beyond borders

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UK's foreign secretary James Cleverly said on Tuesday Ukraine had the “legitimate right” to defend itself beyond its borders, after Russia announced that its capital came under attack by Ukrainian drones.

Asked about the drone attack on Moscow, Cleverly said he didn’t have any specific assessment or information and wouldn’t speculate about its nature. However, he stressed that Kyiv was lawfully entitled to exercise self-defense beyond its own borders.

“Ukraine does have the legitimate right to defend itself. It has the legitimate right to do so within its own borders of course, but it also does have the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia's ability to project force into Ukraine itself,” Cleverly said at a press conference in Tallinn.

He added: “Legitimate military targets beyond its own borders are internationally recognized as being part of a nation’s self-defense… We should recognize that.”

Russia had said earlier that eight drones attacked civilian areas in Moscow in what President Vladimir Putin labeled as “terrorist” activity by Ukraine. Kyiv, however, denied any direct involvement.

The Russian defense ministry said that five of the drones were shot down and the other three were disabled through signal jamming. It added that there were no casualties and only a few buildings sustained minor damage.

The US stressed it did not support attacks on Russian territory; however, Russia should accept responsibility for its own actions, i.e. face the music for invading Ukraine.

“As general matter, we do not support attacks inside of Russia… We have been focused on providing Ukraine with the equipment and training they need to retake their own sovereign territory, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said a National Security Council spokesperson as reported by CNN.

The NSC official added: “Russia started this unprovoked war against Ukraine. Russia could end it at any time by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine instead of launching brutal attacks against Ukraine’s cities and people every day.”

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