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BERGA, Sweden (Reuters) – Ukraine has the right according to international law to attack legitimate military targets in Russia to defend itself, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to new alliance member Sweden on Friday.

“Ukraine has the right to self defence,” Stoltenberg told a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson at a military base near Stockholm.

“The right to self defence also includes the right to hit legitimate, military targets on the territory of the attacking party, the aggressor, in this case Russia.”

The Kremlin said this week that Western nations supplying Ukraine with weapons to strike Russian territory will have to reckon with Russia, after President Vladimir Putin said he was considering arming the West’s enemies in retaliation.

“This is a war of attack that Russia has begun against a peaceful, democratic neighbouring country, Ukraine, that at no point has been a threat to Russia,” Stoltenberg said.

“There is no question that Ukraine has the right to hit targets on Russian territory.”

(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom; writing by Niklas Pollard; editing by Terje Solsvik)