The United States has approved sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands once the exercises in both countries are completed, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a letter that was seen. Reuters news agency.
Washington will expedite requests for the transfer of fighters, according to a letter sent to counterparts in both countries. “I am writing to express the full support of the United States for the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and the training of Ukrainian pilots by qualified instructors,” Blinken’s letter said. It remains critical that Ukraine is able to defend itself against Russian aggression and violations of its sovereignty.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra expressed his gratitude for the decision TwitterWe welcome Washington’s decision to pave the way for sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Many thanks to Antony Blinken for good and fast cooperation. Now we will continue to discuss this issue with our European partners.”
The news came shortly after Ukrainian authorities admitted they did not expect to receive the long-awaited US fighters this year, something Kiev had been demanding for some time.
In a message collected by Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said “it is clear that Ukraine will not receive the F-16s it needs for defense in the fall and winter,” adding that Ukrainian pilots. They are ready to receive instruction and hope that there will be no “delay” in the process.
In July, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen assured that a coalition of 11 allied countries participating in the training of Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s would begin military training in August. In turn, the Netherlands confirmed that the training center will be installed in Romania.
According to CNN, the United States has not yet received the formal training plan that Washington needs to approve the shipment of classified training material.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Kremlin forces continues, which has so far failed to achieve the victories many had hoped for. In fact, The Washington Post published this Thursday a classified intelligence report that predicts that Kiev will not achieve its main goal of reaching the city of Melitopol, in the southeast of the country, so that Ukraine cannot cut through. Availability of Russians in Crimea.
Biden initially opposed sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine, but Washington’s military shipments have included increasingly heavy weapons as the conflict appears to be deepening.
Source: El Diario