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Friday, March 24, 2023

EU not yet considering supplying fighter jets to Ukraine

Deliveries of fighter jets to Ukraine are not yet on the agenda, declared The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, during a briefing in Brussels ahead of the EU-Ukraine summit scheduled for February 3.

This issue, he said, has led to serious disagreements between the 27 member states of the European Union.

So far, the French and Dutch authorities have authorized the supply of combat aircraft to Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled out the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine, citing the need to prevent a further escalation of the conflict. The UK is not yet ready to discuss this. US President Joe Biden previously declaredwhich does not consider the possibility of supplying fighter jets to Kiev.

At the same time as writing The New York Times, citing high-ranking officials, the US presidential administration did not rule out the transfer of US F-16 fighters to Kiev via third countries. For example, allowing Denmark and the Netherlands, which are switching to more modern fighters, to give the F-16 to Ukraine.

Now the focus should be on delivering the promised tanks to Ukraine, Borrell said, recalling that fears of a possible escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine were expressed in the past before each new stage of supply of Western weapons to Kiev.

The transfer of combat tanks to Ukraine was also at first a controversial issue, but in the end a consensus was reached on this subject, added the head of European diplomacy.

When asked if he himself approved of the possible supply of fighter jets to Kiev, Borrell did not answer. “My job is to try to build consensus, and one of the best ways to do that is to not take a position that might jeopardize it,” Borrell said.

After the Russian invasion in February, Ukraine lost almost all of its combat aircraft. Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that in order to successfully counter Russian aggression, Ukraine needs combat aircraft, including at least 180 fighters.

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