Biden gives green light: Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16s

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been asking Europe for fighter jets for months, to no avail.

During the G7 meeting, US President Joe Biden said that the US supports the plan to train Ukrainian pilots in fighter jets. A senior official told US media including CNN. At the same time, the Politico news site reported that Biden once offered a military aid package worth $375 million. Wants to deliver to Ukraine.

Exercises only

It is about training, not about providing equipment. “As the exercise takes place in the coming months, the alliance of nations will decide whether we will actually provide the planes, how many we will provide and who will provide them,” the official told the US channel.

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron suddenly announced they would offer flying lessons to Ukrainians. Distribution of the devices is only a matter of time, experts said.

‘Immediate Support’

Prime Minister Mark Rudd says details of the delivery will be “worked out in the coming weeks”. “Ukraine can continue to count on the unwavering support of the Netherlands and its international partners.” Earlier this year, the Netherlands already announced its intention to supply F-16s to Ukraine.

Defense Minister Gajsa Ollongren immediately accepted Rudd’s words. The conditions are enforced in conjunction with ‘our closest allies’ Denmark, Belgium and the United Kingdom. “We are ready to support Ukraine in this,” he tweeted.

Training in Europe

Training will probably take place entirely in Europe. However, U.S. personnel will participate in exercises with allies in Europe. This is expected to take several months.

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Ukrainian President Zelensky called the decision “historic” on Twitter. Zelensky has repeatedly urged his Western allies to supply fighter jets. Because the F-16s are manufactured in the United States, delivery requires US approval.

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