According to a senior White House official, US President Joe Biden informed G7 leaders that Washington will support delivering modern airplanes to Ukraine, notably F-16s, and will support efforts to educate Kyiv’s pilots.
The US move represents a significant breakthrough for Kiev, which has frequently – and until recently unsuccessfully – urged its Western backers to agree to deploy high-tech jets as it opposes Russia’s incursion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will meet Biden during the G7 summit in Japan, welcomed the decision as a “historic decision,” adding that he was looking forward to “discussing the practical implementation” of the plan in Hiroshima. “As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them.”
The UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands welcomed the decision.
“The UK will work together with the USA and the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark to get Ukraine the combat air capability it needs,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted, adding: “We stand united.”
Biden stated that the US “will support a joint effort with our allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including F-16s, to further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force,” according to the source.