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Ukrainian officials recently admitted they would not receive the planes until 2024
Denmark and the Netherlands have received the green light from the US to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, senior officials in both countries have confirmed. Kiev has been requesting the US-made warplanes for months.
Speaking to Danmarks Radio on Friday, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen revealed that he and Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen had “received a friendly letter from the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, which gives us certain options for action.”
When asked if Denmark would now send F-16s to Ukraine, Rasmussen explained that Washington’s approval means that “a barrier to being able to do so is no longer there,” and that Copenhagen is discussing future steps in this direction with its allies.
According to Business Mirror, Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren said, “I welcome the US decision to clear the way for delivery of F-16 jets to Ukraine. It allows us to follow through on the training of Ukrainian pilots,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a message on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We remain in close contact with European partners to decide on the next steps.” Washington says the F-16s, like the advance US Abrams tanks, will be crucial in the long term as Kyiv faces down Russia.
US approval was also confirmed by Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra. Writing on X (formerly Twitter), he said the Netherlands “welcomes Washington’s decision to pave the way for sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.” Hoekstra claimed the move “marks a major milestone” for Kiev in the conflict with Russia, and said his country will discuss the matter with its European partners.
The remarks follow a Reuters report which cited Blinken’s letter as stating that the two NATO countries could send the jets as soon as “the first set of pilots complete their training.” At present, Denmark has 43 F-16s, around 30 of which are serviceable, while the Netherlands has 24 operational aircraft of this type.
According to Newsweek, Ukrainian pilots will be trained by the coalition in Denmark. A training center is also expected to be set up in Romania, another NATO member state. The Department of Defense (DOD) provided a statement from Brigadier General Patrick S. Ryder, the department’s press secretary. “The U.S. is prepared to support the training effort in coordination with the coalition, and is willing to host training for Ukrainian pilots within the U.S. if the capacity of training is reached in Europe,” the statement said.
According to the Irish Times, the Dutch and the Danes were chosen at the Nato summit in Vilnius last month because both countries are in the process of transitioning from the F-16 to the new generation Lockheed Martin F-35 – which fly out of Volkel airfield, a former Luftwaffe base in the south of the Netherlands. The training will be in three stages: conversion training, language proficiency, and then initial flight training. Two groups of 12 Ukrainian pilots each would start the programme, to be combined with a €40 million air defence package for Ukraine announced by the defence contact group, Ollongren said.
Ukraine has been requesting F-16s from its Western backers for months, arguing that they would help to counter Russia’s air superiority. While Kiev has not yet received modern jets, the UK and the Netherlands announced an “international coalition” in May to help Ukraine procure F-16s and train the country’s pilots. The group now consists of 11 countries.
However, according to media reports, efforts to instruct Ukrainian pilots have been hampered by delays in the transfer of flight manuals and simulators, with the language barrier also causing problems. Against this backdrop, Ukrainian officials have said they do not expect to receive F-16s until 2024.
Ukrainian requests for the warplanes also come during its much-touted counteroffensive against Russia, which has so far failed to gain any ground, according to Moscow. Ukrainian officials have attempted to explain the slow progress by pointing to Russia’s advantage in the air.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the West against providing Ukraine with F-16s, saying they “will burn” just like other Western-supplied weaponry. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has cautioned that the planes could escalate hostilities as they can potentially carry nuclear weapons.
Additional Source – Russia Today via Big News Network.
Huge Profits by NATO’s Weapons Corporations thanks to the Ukraine Devastating War against Peace – Because the Russian forces have destroyed or disabled hundreds of Ukrainian heavy weapon systems, including many Western-made main battle tanks, in the start of Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive, according to Russia Defense Ministry daily report: «In total, 459 airplanes and 246 helicopters, 5,805 unmanned aerial vehicles, 431 air defence missile systems, 11,349 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 1,144 combat vehicles equipped with MLRS, 5,918 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 12,289 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation». These numbers confirm that the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky can continue to refuse any peace negotiation with Moscow, even the one proposed through the mediation of the Vatican, because it is fueling the gigantic business of the Weapons Lobby which conditions the military geopolitics of NATO and of the countries belonging to the Atlantic Alliance since the CEPA plan for the militarization of Eastern Europe.