EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rejected the idea of sending fighter jets to Ukraine, calling it a “very controversial” issue.
“Supplying fighter jets to Ukraine is not currently on the agenda of the European Union (EU),” the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell told journalists in Brussels. Belgium January 2.
The supply of this weapon is a “very contentious” issue among EU member states, Borrell said.
“My job is to try to reach consensus and one of the best ways is not to take on things that could be harmful,” the EU official stressed, adding that the 27 member states should now focus on on maintaining commitments and delivering tanks to Ukraine.
Mr Borrell’s statements came after France opened up the possibility of supplying fighter jets to Ukraine, while other countries such as the US, Germany and Britain did not discuss such a step. At a press conference earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “no option is ruled out” but added that he had not received a request for fighter jets from Ukraine.
Regarding the military situation, Mr. Borrell warned that Russia could launch an attack from northern Ukraine. He did not rule out the possibility of Russia attacking from Belarusian territory to disperse Ukrainian forces.
“I don’t think that will happen, but nobody knows for sure,” he said, warning that if a new major offensive was launched, Russia would do it before the Ukrainian army received Western tanks. .
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on January 25 that after the West committed to providing modern tanks to Ukraine, one of Kiev’s new tasks is to acquire Western-style fighter jets. Ukrainian officials have signaled that the type of fighter they most want to own is the US-made F-16.
Huyen Le (Theo Pravda, Kyiv Independent)