Despite persistent requests for air support from Ukrainian leaders, US President Joe Biden has decided against dispatching F-16 fighter jets to the country.
On Monday, Mr. Biden casually said “no” when a journalist asked if the United States would be delivering the planes. A day prior, the head of Germany had similarly said that fighter jets would not be sent.
According to Ukraine, it needs the aircraft to regain control of its airspace during the current conflict with Russia.
F-16 Fighting Jets are deployed by several nations, including Belgium and Pakistan, and are regarded as among the most dependable warplanes in the world.
They would represent a substantial improvement over the Soviet-era fighter jets that Ukraine presently employs, which were created before the nation’s independence from the USSR was proclaimed more than thirty years ago.
But Mr. Biden has consistently rejected Ukraine’s requests for the jets, focusing rather on offering military assistance in other regions.
The other week, the US declared that it would send 31 Warrior tanks to Kyiv, and the UK and Germany followed suit.
Andrii Melnyk, the deputy foreign affairs minister of Ukraine, hailed the news but pleaded with partners to form a “fighter plane alliance” that would also give Ukraine access to Eurofighters, Tornados, French Rafales, and Swedish Gripen aircraft.
The chancellor of Germany stated in a Sunday interview that it “appeared silly” to contemplate giving additional military help to Ukraine when they had already promised to send the Leopard 2s.
NATO allies, especially Germany and the US, have been cautious to deploy military assistance that could cause the war to worsen since Moscow accuses the alliance of acting as an attacker by proxy.
This viewpoint was echoed by Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, on Monday. He said that while “nothing is excluded” when it comes to aiding Ukraine, it must not worsen the situation or restrict France’s ability to defend itself.
Several other European states, notably the Netherlands, have not yet made a decision regarding whether or not they will deploy jet fighters. Poland, however, has made it clear that it is ready to support NATO by providing fighters.