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Kyiv Won't Be Getting Fighter Jets 'anytime Soon', Ukrainian FM Kuleba Reveals Why

“I don’t expect the delivery of fighter jets to happen anytime soon because it’s a very difficult task logistically and technically," says Ukraine FM.


Image: AP

Ukraine won't be receiving Western-made fighter jets "anytime soon" due to logistical and technical difficulties, said Dmitry Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, during an interview with the German tabloid Bild. He advised Ukrainian pilots, who are solely accustomed to flying aircraft produced by the Soviet Union, to start training on the Western aircraft as soon as feasible.

“I don’t expect the delivery of fighter jets to happen anytime soon because it’s a very difficult task logistically and technically. Therefore, we advise that the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western jets should start now, so that when the decision to provide aircraft is made, we do not waste time or many months on training,” he said.

Ukraine has gradually demanded more sophisticated weapons from the west

The envoy also encouraged Berlin to increase supplies of ammunition, namely artillery rounds to Ukraine, noting that while German industry had already indicated a willingness to do so, the problem actually lay with the government of the nation. “We sat down with Ukrainian representatives and the German armaments industry... and German industry, in my presence, asked the German government for one thing: signed contracts,” he stated as reported by RT. 

Ukraine has progressively demanded more advanced weaponry from its Western sponsors as the conflict has progressed. In recent months, Kyiv has stepped up its demands for NATO to provide it with fighter jets, specifically the American-made F-16, after securing a commitment for a large number of Leopard 2 and Leopard 1, M1 Abrams, and Challenger 2 main battle tanks from various EU nations, the US, and UK, respectively.

Biden says Ukraine 'doesn't need F-16s now' 

Despite repeated calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Joe Biden has ruled out "for now" sending advanced American fighter jets to Ukraine, he told ABC News anchor David Muir on the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion.

"You don't think he needs F-16s now?" Muir asked in an exclusive interview at the White House. "No, he doesn't need F-16s now," Biden replied.

As per US media, the Pentagon has already invited Ukrainian pilots to a military installation in Arizona to gauge how long it would take for them to receive F-16 training. Two Ukrainian airmen have already arrived on US soil, and more are probably on the way, according to unnamed authorities who spoke to NBC last week as reported by RT. 

Russia has frequently cautioned the West against "pump-priming" Ukraine with a variety of weapons, arguing that doing so would just prolong conflict.

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