Western allies send Kyiv mixed messages on war planes; US President Joe Biden has ruled out delivering F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Despite repeated calls from top Kyiv officials for urgent air support.
Asked if the United States would send the planes on Monday. Biden said no. Britain also said it was “not appropriate” to send its planes to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, France’s Emmanuel Macon said that “by definition, nothing is out of the question” before meeting the Ukrainian minister.
Ukraine says the advanced aircraft will help protect its skies from Russian attacks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s top military officials say such military aid. Should not be ban – but the US. Its allies fear it could lead to further escalation with a nuclear-armed Russia.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Pravda news portal quoted Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat. As saying that Kiev would need 200 multirole fighter jets, such as the F-16, to protect its skies.
He said that Russia has five to six times more fighter jets than Ukraine.
The US F-16s would be a significant upgrade over the Soviet fighter jets currently in use by Ukraine – mainly MiGs. Which were produce before the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
But Biden has repeatedly rejected Ukraine’s requests for aircraft, instead focusing on military support in other areas.
But other Western allies are uncertain. On Monday, President Macon did not rule out sending warplanes to Ukraine. But stressed that this should not further inflame the situation and limit France’s ability to defend itself.
Western allies send Kyiv mixed messages on war planes; Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov is currently in Paris. Where he is expect to discuss the issue with Macron and French military commanders later on Tuesday.
Poland, another key ally of Ukraine, has also not ruled out sending F-16s to Kiev. However, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Said such a move would only be possible in “full cooperation” with other NATO countries.
The United States announced last week that it would deliver 31 Abrams tanks to Kiev. Reversing its previous position on the matter. Great Britain and Germany have also promised
Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, welcomed the announcement but called on allies to create a “fighter alliance” that would also provide Ukraine with Eurofighters, Tornados, French Rafales and Swedish Gripen aircraft.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday that he was not aware that Ukraine had formally request the aircraft, adding that “the UK’s Typhoon and F-35 aircraft are highly advance and will take months to learn to fly”.
“Given that we do not consider it appropriate to send these aircraft to Ukraine.”
At the same time, the speakman said that Sunak had “detail discussions with military advisers” and “it can be conclud that, give Russia’s numerical advantage, a prolong war of attrition would not benefit Ukraine.”
Germany also said it would not send fighter jets to Ukraine.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is widely regarded as one of the most reliable fighter jets in the world and is used by other countries such as Belgium and Pakistan.
According to the US Air Force, it can be armed with precision-guided missiles and bombs and can fly at speeds of 1,500 mph (2,400 km/h).
The F-16’s targeting capabilities would allow Ukraine to attack Russian forces with greater precision in all weather conditions and at night.
Moscow has repeatedly accused NATO of being a Proxy Aggressor and warned that further escalation could trigger a nuclear war.