Update: 20.05.2023 12:27
Moscow – The West would be putting itself at great risk if it provided Ukraine with American F-16 fighter jets, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said according to the TASS agency. He presented the development surrounding the military aid to Kiev, which has been resisting Russian aggression for more than a year, as a new escalation on the part of Western countries.
Gruško was responding to the latest statements by Western leaders regarding F-16 fighter jets, which Ukraine has been demanding for a long time. The White House confirmed today that US President Joe Biden expressed support for the plan to include these fighters in Ukraine’s equipment at the G7 summit on Friday. Kyiv has not yet been promised concrete supplies, but a group of European countries led by Britain and the Netherlands have announced that they will work on this step.
“We see that Western countries are still sticking to the scenario of escalations. This means colossal risks for them,” Reuters quoted Gruška as saying. “In any case, it will be taken into account in all our plans,” added the deputy.
F-16 fighters are used by many European and other countries, and the aircraft are still manufactured in the USA. Any deliveries to Ukraine or to another foreign country must have the approval of Washington, and Washington has so far been rather dismissive of the matter. As news of Biden’s remarks at the G7 summit began to emerge on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the “historic decision” in a statement that would “significantly strengthen our military in the air.”
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, confirmed to the media today that the US has decided not to block the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine and also to provide Ukrainian pilots with training on these machines. At the same time, Sullivan presented the development not as a reversal in the American approach, but as a continuation of the effort to supply Kiev with the equipment that is needed at the given stage of the war.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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