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UK and Netherlands agree ‘international coalition’ to help Ukraine procure F-16 jets

Guardian 17 May 23

Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte announced plans a day after Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Kyiv could soon receive fighter jets

Prime minister Rishi Sunak and Dutch leader Mark Rutte have agreed to build an “international coalition” to help procure F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine, the British government has announced.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Sunak and Rutte “would work to build an international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets”.

“The prime minister reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s rightful place is in Nato and the leaders agreed on the importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine to guarantee they can deter against future attacks.

“The leaders agreed to continue working together both bilaterally and through forums such as the European Political Community to tackle the scourge of people trafficking on our continent.”

The statement on Tuesday came a day after Ukraine’s president hinted that Kyiv could soon receive F-16 fighter jets, saying he was hopeful of “very important” decisions on the subject with the help of the UK……………………………

At the meeting, Britain also promised to supply “hundreds of attack drones”.

The UK said in February that it would begin training Ukrainian pilots in standard Nato techniques, and No 10 repeated that on Monday, saying the plan was to help “build a new Ukrainian air force with Nato-standard F-16 jets”.

Britain does not use F-16s, which are made by the US defence firm Lockheed Martin in South Carolina…………

Both countries will have to persuade the US if Ukraine is to receive F-16s. Asked later on Monday if the US had changed its position on supplying the jets to Ukraine, John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House’s national security council, gave a one-word reply: “No.”


May 18, 2023 - Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war

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