Britain and the Netherlands, with the support of France and Belgium, have agreed to work in a coalition of fighter jets for Ukraine, according to Kiev, Russia sends reinforcements to the Bakhmut bastion, where Ukrainian troops harass the enemy and surround it. And get land. City.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily address, “We have agreed with Prime Minister Rishi (Sunak) in the UK that we will work in a coalition of fighters: training, aircraft, results.”
Furthermore, he added that the proposal has the support of French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“In particular, Belgium also confirmed its willingness to train pilots,” said Andrey Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office.
However, this Wednesday the Defense Minister of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, and Germany, Boris Pistorius, ruled out supplying F-16 fighters to Ukraine for the time being.
For his part, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, indicated that “there is still no decision” and that he would report when he was “ready to take this step”.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, expressed confidence that the matter would be resolved this year and qualified that some countries would train Ukrainian pilots, while others are willing to provide aircraft.
“Our priority is the F-16, but we don’t rule out other options. It’s like tanks,” he said.
counter russian bombing
It has become a major necessity for Ukraine since last March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs to hit Ukrainian targets far from the front.
Yuriy Saak, an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Minister, said that Kiev currently has “nothing to stop Russian aircraft carrying this type of projectile”, noting that the Western F-16 may be the solution.
“Ukraine needs between 40 and 50 F-16s in total to form three or four squadrons to defend its skies from Russian bombing,” he said.
According to Saak, Ukraine’s allies understand that “the issue is ripe” and “no one has said that it is impossible.”
For this reason, he stressed, Ukraine will make every effort to make it one of the priorities of the next G7 summit in Hiroshima starting this Friday and the annual NATO summit in Lithuania next July.