June 8, 2023

President Zelensky mentioned that coaching Ukrainian pilots to fly American-made F-16 fighter jets “will enormously strengthen our military within the sky.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed US President Joe Biden’s choice to help the coaching of Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets, saying it could “considerably strengthen our military within the skies.”

Calling plans to coach Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets a “historic choice,” Zelenskiy mentioned he would focus on the small print with Biden after they meet on the G7 summit within the Japanese metropolis of Hiroshima, the Ukrainian chief’s final worldwide journey. which was confirmed on Saturday.

“I stay up for discussing the sensible implementation of this choice on the #G7 summit in Hiroshima,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

Biden informed G7 leaders on Friday that Washington is supporting joint allied applications to coach Ukrainian pilots on U.S. F-16 fighter jets, senior U.S. officers informed Reuters.

Zelenskiy has been calling for months for the supply of superior fighter jets to help Ukraine’s protection towards a Russian invasion. However the Ukrainian chief has up to now confronted rejection from his Western allies, who feared that offering Ukraine with trendy offensive weapons might be met with an escalation from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the unfold of warfare in Europe.

Now that Ukraine has upgraded its air protection system with a number of Western anti-aircraft programs and is getting ready to launch a counteroffensive towards Russian forces, officers imagine the fighter jets might be helpful in Ukraine’s battle with Moscow and important to the nation’s long-term protection. pressing pressing safety.

Poland and Slovakia handed over 27 outdated MiG-29s to Ukraine.

John Psaropoulos of Al Jazeera reviews that air protection specialists say the US-built F-16 fighter jets will give Ukraine a bonus over the Russian air drive, however solely when mixed with highly effective missiles and focusing on intelligence, which the West may even have to supply.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak mentioned his nation would work with the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark “to supply Ukraine with the fight plane it wants.”

Denmark additionally mentioned it could assist prepare Ukrainians to fly the F-16, the nation’s protection minister mentioned after Washington introduced it could help such an initiative.

Performing Danish Protection Minister Troels Lund Poulsen mentioned his nation “will now be capable to make a collective contribution to coaching Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16.” Denmark will make it a precedence to work with its allies to help the scheme, he mentioned, applauding Biden’s choice to endorse the plan.

Lund Poulsen didn’t say whether or not Denmark could be among the many nations supplying fighter jets to Ukraine. The Danish Air Drive has about 40 F-16s, of which about 30 are in service. Just lately, he started to obtain extra superior F-35 fighters.

Ukraine, which has no Western-designed plane, says the F-16 is rather more environment friendly than the Soviet-era fighter jets it presently makes use of.

The coaching of the fighters will happen in Europe and take a number of months, US officers informed the Reuters information company. U.S. officers have estimated the quickest timeframe wanted for F-16 coaching and supply to be round 18 months.

Biden’s inexperienced mild for F-16 coaching is the newest change from the US administration because it seeks to equip Ukraine with extra superior and lethal weaponry following earlier choices to ship HIMAR missile programs, Patriots air protection programs and Abrams tanks.

The US insists that it’s sending weapons to Ukraine in self-defense and is stopping Ukrainian assaults on Russian territory.

The G7 leaders additionally used the primary day of their Friday summit to roll out a brand new wave of worldwide sanctions towards Moscow, in addition to plans to make current monetary sanctions simpler to restrict Putin’s warfare efforts.

“Our help for Ukraine is not going to waver,” the G7 leaders mentioned in a press release launched after the closed conferences.

They promised “collectively to withstand the unlawful, unjustified and unprovoked aggressive warfare of Russia towards Ukraine.”

“Russia began this warfare and may finish this warfare,” they mentioned.

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