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PM: Italy may train Ukrainian pilots but can't supply F-16s
Italy may commit to training Ukrainian fighter pilots, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on May 20 at a news conference following the G7 summit in Japan.
Earlier this week, the U.K. and the Netherlands announced they would lead a coalition of countries that would provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters and the training to use them.
The coalition also includes Belgium, Denmark, the U.S. and Portugal.
Italy may join this coalition but does not operate any F-16s of its own and therefore cannot provide F-16 jets to Ukraine, Meloni said.
In February, the Italian government reportedly considered providing Ukraine with the jets it does operate, but would only proceed after other countries did the same.
Ukraine has been asking for modern fighters for many months, to defend its skies and provide needed air support during counteroffensives.