Ukraine's Strikes on Russian Refineries Follow NATO Practices, Says Deputy PM

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.22 - 2024 1:13 PM CET

Photo: Drop of Light /
Photo: Drop of Light /
Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna defends Ukraine's strikes on Russian oil refineries.

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Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, stated that oil refineries in Russia are legitimate targets for the Ukrainian military.

She added that in this case, Ukraine is acting in accordance with NATO standards.

Speaking at the Kyiv Security Forum, Stefanishyna addressed reports about the US advising Ukraine against strikes on Russian oil refineries.

She remarked, "The Ukrainian side responded, I think, by mentioning that it was achieving its goals and carrying out very successful operations on the territory of the Russian Federation."

"Conversely, there have also been statements from other officials that these are absolutely legitimate targets from a military point of view. We understand the concerns of our American partners. At the same time, we have to make the most of the capabilities, resources and methods that we have," the Deputy Prime Minister added.

She recalled her February 2022 communication with NATO headquarters, seeking support for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine.

"They told me, 'Olha, you don't understand NATO methods.' These methods prioritize the destruction of infrastructure within the aggressor country that enables attacks on cities in the targeted country, including missile production facilities. Thus, we are adhering to NATO's best practices."

Reflecting on the Russian attack on 22 March, Stefanishyna expressed her expectation for support from partners: "Outrage and condolences are one thing, but we expect weapons first and foremost."

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