US Rules Out Sending F-16 Jets To Ukraine
Us president Joe Biden has ruled out sending f-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, despite renewed calls from Ukrainian officials for air support.
Asked by a reporter on Monday if the US would be providing the planes, Mr Biden replied simply “no”.
His comment comes a day after Germany’s leader also ruled out sending fighter jets.
Ukraine has said it needs the jets to take control of its airspace in its ongoing war with Russia.
F-16 fighting falcons are widely considered one of the world’s most reliable fighter jets and are used by other countries, such as Belgium and Pakistan.
The US announced last week that it would supply Kyiv with 31 abrams tanks, with the UK and Germany also pledging similar support.
Russia has accused NATO of being an aggressor by proxy and members of the alliance, including the us and Germany, have been reluctant to send military aid that could see the conflict escalate.
Ukraine planned to push for Western fourth-generation fighters like F-16s after securing supplies of main battle tanks last week, an adviser to Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Friday.
Asked at the White House on Monday if the United States would provide F-16s, Biden told reporters: “No.”
But France and Poland appear to be willing to entertain any such request from Ukraine, with Macron telling reporters in The Hague on Monday that “by definition, nothing is excluded” when it comes to military assistance.
In remarks carried on French television before Biden spoke in Washington, Macron stressed any such move would depend on several factors including the need to avoid escalation and assurances that the aircraft would not “touch Russian soil.” He said Reznikov would also meet his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu in Paris on Tuesday.