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Ukraine is now pushing for F-16 fighters after securing tanks

Once the arrival in the next two months of the first western tanks was assured, Ukraine it has intensified its campaign to convince its partners to cross another red line: the line of sending in fighter jets, especially F-16s.

“Soon they will be in the skies of Ukraine”, With this headline the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, published a video on Facebook on Friday with promotional images of the F-16 with its technical characteristics.

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And it is that the reinforcement of the Air Force with fourth generation combat aircraft such as the American F16 has become a priority task of the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskywho last night in his usual nocturnal speech stressed that “Russian aggression can and must be stopped with adequate weapons.”

The best option for the Ukrainian Armed Forces

“The F16, a multi-purpose aircraft, which is the most widespread in the world, may be the best option for the Ukrainian Air Force,” said the spokesman for that body, Colonel Yuriy Ignat, at a press conference today.

Among its features, he highlighted that this combat aircraft can attack targets on the ground with different types of weapons and defend the sky from air attacks.

In his message to the meeting on the 20th of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine, known as the “Ramstein format”, after the name of the Ramstein (Germany) military base, Zelensky expressed his hope that the upcoming meetings will pass to history for agreeing on the supply of F16 and long-range missiles.

This file photo taken on May 20, 2019 shows a German soldier in a Leopard 2 A7 main battle tank taking part in a “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” educational practice. (PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP).

West, with caveats, open to study aircraft shipment

A day later, his Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, claimed on Facebook that a European colleague, whom he did not identify, had told him that if Ukraine he needed F16 he got to work on it.

In any case, the Dutch government, according to its Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to study with an “open mind” a supply of F-16 fighters to Ukraine if it requests it.

According to US Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer, Washington does not rule out supplying Ukraine with “any specific weapon system.”

“We will study it very exhaustively”Finer told the US television channel MSNBC on Thursday when answering a question about the request for F16 fighters made by Ukraine.

On the other hand, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, reluctant until the last moment to authorize the shipment of Leopard 2 tanks, on Wednesday ruled out sending combat aircraft to Ukraine.

“This has not happened so far and will not happen in the future”said Sholz in a speech in the Bundestag.

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However, kyiv is confident that the West on this occasion too, as previously in the case of HIMARS missile systems and Patriot air defense systems, as well as tanks, will cross the lines that it has imposed on itself out of fear. to an escalation of the conflict.

A senior official at Lockheed Martin, maker of the F16s, told the Financial Times this week that it plans to ramp up production at its South Carolina plant, which will allow the company to fill orders from any country that chooses to transfer them to third parties. (Ukraine) to help him in the war.

Among the planes that kyiv’s allies would consider turning over to Ukraine there are also Soviet MiG-29 fighters.

Slovakia, which owns 11 such aircraft, upgraded between 2004 and 2006 to NATO standards, has declared that it is ready to deliver them to Ukraine in coordination with the US

Russia says ‘tension level’ rises

The Kremlin warned today that the debate on sending fighter jets to Ukraineafter the decision of the West to supply him with tanks, “the degree of tension increases”.

“We are facing an escalation of tensions, including the supply of tanks and the continuing discussions about the air component”said the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, at a press conference.

He added that the escalation of tension “obeys the decisions that are adopted in Washington and in the European capitals.”

According to the Kremlin, the “key” to the Ukrainian conflict is “largely” in Washington.

“But we see that the current occupant of the White House (President Joe Biden) does not want to use it and chooses to continue stuffing Ukraine with weapons,” Peskov stressed.

Source: Elcomercio

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