Biden: Zelensky claims not to use F-16s in Russia
President Joe Biden has informed G7 leaders that the United States will support a concerted effort with allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots in the use of fighter jets, including F-16s. The White House confirms this after earlier reports to this effect appeared in US media.
The training should take place entirely in Europe. However, US personnel will participate in training with allies in Europe. This should take several months.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will attend the G7 summit in Japan, called the decision “historic” on Twitter. Zelensky repeatedly urged his Western allies to provide fighter jets.
The participation of the United States in the possible training does not mean that the United States has already decided to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine. “As the training takes place over the next few months, the coalition of nations participating in this effort will decide whether we will actually provide aircraft, how many we will provide, and who will provide them,” the official told CNN.
In March, the United States hosted two Ukrainian pilots at a military base in Tucson, Arizona, to assess their skills using flight simulators and assess how long it would take them to learn to fly various US military aircraft. , including F-16s. The US Congress provided funds for such training in the 2023 budget.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he is satisfied with the decision. “Details will be worked out in the coming weeks,” Rutte said on Twitter.
His British, Danish and Belgian colleagues also “welcome” the news from the United States, writes Rutte. “Ukraine can continue to count on the unwavering support of the Netherlands and its international partners.”
Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren agrees with Rutte’s remarks. Terms are being worked out with “our closest allies” Denmark, Belgium and the UK. “We are ready to support Ukraine in this area,” Ollongren tweeted.
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