President Zelenskyy’s announcement that European allies will present high-end fighter jets comes throughout a go to to their capitals.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has welcomed a “historic” resolution by the Netherlands and Denmark to offer US-made F-16 fighter jets for his nation to counter Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskyy sought the superior warplanes for months to strengthen Ukraine’s Soviet-era air power because it pursues a grinding counteroffensive towards Russian forces within the east.
Washington introduced its approval of the F-16 transfers on Friday, and coaching of Ukraine pilots is ready to start this month, which can enable Ukraine to start deploying the jets in early 2024.
The choice is “completely historic, highly effective and provoking for us”, Zelenskyy stated alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte throughout a go to to the Eindhoven airbase within the Netherlands on Sunday.
The Dutch air power has 42 F-16s and Rutte stated the quantity offered to Kyiv could be finalised after talks with allies.
In a while Sunday, Zelenskyy travelled to Denmark’s Skrydstrup airbase and was greeted by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“We additionally know that you simply want extra and that’s the reason right now we introduced that we are going to donate 19 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine,” the Danish chief stated.
Six of the jets will likely be delivered by the top of this yr, eight subsequent yr, and 5 in 2025, Frederiksen stated.
“It is a very highly effective assist for us – coaching missions are already beginning,” Zelenskyy informed journalists.
“We’re doing our greatest to get much more outcomes for Ukraine. Particularly, right now we mentioned the enlargement of coaching missions. Ukraine’s sky protect is getting stronger.”
Alexandre Vautravers, an analyst and the editor-in-chief of the Swiss Army Overview, stated the F-16 improvement “will not be a sport changer however permits Ukraine to remain within the sport”.
“Till now, we are able to say that Ukraine acquired fairly plenty of fight plane, principally MiG-29s, so it has been capable of preserve the variety of plane it began the conflict with,” Vautravers informed Al Jazeera.
“However the Western nations haven’t any extra ex-Soviet airplanes to decide to this struggle and, due to this fact, it would must be Western airplanes to any extent further.”
Zelenskyy’s go to comes after a visit to Sweden on Saturday, when he mentioned joint manufacturing of CV90 fight automobiles and coaching of Ukraine pilots for Gripen fighter jets with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
The long-sought approval to produce the jets drew a warning from Moscow.
Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov stated Moscow would take into account the F-16s a “nuclear” risk due to their capability to hold atomic weapons.
The Netherlands and Denmark have led a months-long push to coach Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s and to finally ship the jets to assist counter the air superiority of Russia, whose forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Saturday stated coaching had begun for Ukrainian pilots, however it could take at the very least six months and probably longer to additionally practice engineers and mechanics.
Frederiksen stated greater than 70 Ukrainian army officers arrived in Denmark for coaching. Ukraine says it expects a number of dozen pilots to be skilled.
Each the Netherlands and Denmark have F-16s accessible to donate as their armed forces are transitioning to newer F-35 fighters made by a bunch of nations led by Washington.