President Biden denied the possibility of supplying F-16 fighters to Kiev, in the context of Ukrainian officials expressing an interest in owning this type of aircraft.
“No,” US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House on January 30 when asked if he supported the option of transferring F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials recently repeatedly mentioned the possibility of receiving Western fighters, including F-16s, after the US and its allies decided to provide more than 300 M1A2 Abrams and Leopard 2 main battle tanks. contrary to previous statements several months ago.
Western media on January 27 quoted Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuri Ignat as saying that the F-16 could be the best option to replace the Soviet-era fighter in the current Ukrainian service and Kiev is looking to buy two. squadron with a total of 24 aircraft.
However, the Ukrainian official later claimed that his remarks had been misinterpreted, noting that the partner countries were not satisfied with public speculation.
“Ukraine is in the negotiation phase of the aircraft. The type and quantity have not been decided. We have not made any announcements. Such statements have a very negative impact. The information is very sensitive and the partners do not like published fanciful statements,” said spokesman Ignat.
The US and European countries have not yet delivered fighter jets to Ukraine due to fears of an escalation of hostilities, despite numerous times of breaking barriers to aid in heavy weapons.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on January 27 rejected the possibility of transferring fighters to Ukraine because this is a more complex weapon than a main tank, as well as having a completely different range and firepower.
US deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said Washington would discuss the idea of fighter aid “very carefully” with Kiev and its allies. US officials say the F-16 is a complex fighter, pilots need to learn to fly for months and require extensive maintenance, which is difficult to do in Ukraine during the war.
Vu Anh (Theo Reuters)