The defense ministers of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, and Germany, Boris Pistorius, on Wednesday ruled out supplying fighter jets to Ukraine because of the lack of availability of suitable planes.
“We will not supply fighter jets to Ukraine,” Wallace announced at a press appearance at the Defense Ministry in Berlin.
He added that the Eurofighter Typhoon “will be an aircraft that is not suitable” and stressed that “this is not about donating a weapon system, but about providing a platform.”
“We should no longer have aircraft out there that we don’t have or that are not suitable. I think after the war, when we talk about resilience, it’s important that we build the capabilities that are needed.” It is,” he insisted. ,
He added that in the future Ukraine will need more capabilities in terms of combat fighter aircraft and it is about doing everything possible so that in the long term the country can “defend itself in the air regardless of the type of aircraft”. ” Wants to buy it”.
He insisted that Ukraine has a preference for the F-16, something he noted was not on the United Kingdom’s list.
For the time being, the United Kingdom could support Storm Shadow missiles, for example, in the same way that Germany and other countries have already supplied other air defense systems, he said.
Pistorius agreed with Wallace, reiterating that when it comes to the quality and quantity of Germany’s support for Ukraine, it is about providing “things that can be used immediately or in the shortest possible time”. Can.”
The key is to supply what is most needed as well as what is durable, both in terms of logistics and maintenance and repair.
He added that Germany does not have F-16 fighters and that neither the Tornado nor the Eurofighter are suitable to help Ukraine in the short term, especially given the complexity of training and many other aspects.
He stressed that Germany is an expert in anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense and is a leader in these areas in support of Ukraine.
“We are focusing on Ukraine’s air defense and supplying more ammunition. We are focusing on the maintenance of the tanks we have supplied,” he stressed.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed confidence in televised statements that a coalition would be formed this year to supply Western fighters to Ukraine, adding that while some countries have expressed willingness to train Ukrainian troops, While other countries have shown willingness to provide. even.
“Our priority is the F-16, but we don’t rule out other aircraft options. It’s like tanks,” he said.