Ukraine welcomes wider approval to use Western arms to hit inside Russia

The Netherlands' defense minister has suggested that the country intends to allow Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with Dutch weapons.

Kajsa Ollongren made the remarks in an interview with US-based political news website Politico released on Monday.

The defense minister referred to the 24 F-16 fighter jets her country intends to deliver to Ukraine. She said, "Once we hand it over to Ukraine, it's theirs to use."

Ollongren said the Netherlands only asks Ukraine to comply with international law and the right to self-defense. She added that it means Kyiv can use the aircraft to hit military targets for self-defense.

Her move comes as the United States and Germany announced that they will shift their policies and permit Kyiv to strike inside Russia with weapons supplied by their countries in an effort to strengthen the defense of the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv.

The head of Ukraine's presidential office, Andriy Yermak, welcomed the West's moves.

He posted on social media on Tuesday that the permission to use Western weapons on Russian territory is a vital decision.

Yermak said, "This will impact the conduct of the war, planning of counteroffensive actions, and will weaken Russians' abilities to use their forces in the border areas."

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has indicated that Ukrainian forces may have used Western-supplied weapons to target a missile system inside Russia.

She said in a social media post that what appears to be a Russian S-300 missile system is burning. She attached a photo showing black smoke rising.

Vereshchuk said it happened on Russian territory. She added the incident took place soon after Ukraine was allowed to use Western arms to strike targets inside Russia.

Her post later became inaccessible. Observers say it may have been deleted.