US Representative to NATO Denies Plans to Send F-16s to Ukraine

The United States will not supply its aircraft to Ukraine, as Kyiv requested, the country's official representative to NATO said. Previously, Washington ruled out the supply of multiple rocket launchers to the republic, but then changed its mind jpg” alt=”US representative to NATO denied plans to send F-16 to Ukraine” />

F-16 fighter

The United States does not intend to provide Ukraine with its high-class aircraft, despite the advance of the Russian Armed Forces in eastern Ukraine, the permanent US Representative to NATO Julianne Smith in a comment to Air Force Magazine.

Smith was asked if the United States or members of the NATO alliance are planning to transfer the latest generation of combat aircraft, such as the F-16, to Kyiv. “No”, — she replied.

The Permanent Representative also noted that the Pentagon is in regular discussions with Ukraine's Ministry of Defense about its needs on the battlefield. But the prospect of a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine has not changed the willingness of partners to provide aircraft to Ukraine.

The day before, US President Joe Biden announced another tranche of military assistance to Ukraine, including the supply of HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) with a range up to 500 km, although two days earlier he said that the United States would not supply Ukraine with systems whose missiles could reach Russian territory.

Before Biden announced the decision to provide new weapons to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where he said that a trusting relationship had developed between Washington and Kyiv and Ukraine assured the US that it would not use MLRS to strike in Russia.

Later, the Pentagon clarified that the new $700 million military assistance package to Ukraine, in addition to MLRS and ammunition, will include five anti-artillery radars, two radar stations for other purposes, 1,000 Javelin man-portable anti-tank systems and 50 missile launchers, 6,000 units anti-tank weapons, 15 thousand 155mm artillery shells, four Mi-17 helicopters, 15 tactical vehicles, as well as spare parts and equipment.

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After the start of the Russian military operation, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly turned to foreign countries with a request to supply missiles and aircraft. “Just give us rockets. Give us planes. You can't give us an F-18 or an F-19 or whatever you have. Give us old Soviet planes. That's all. Give them into my hands. Give me something with which I can protect my country, & mdash; he said in an interview with the American Fox News channel in early April.

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