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Kuleba: No delays expected in delivery of first F-16s from Denmark to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova January 26, 2024 9:22 PM 2 min read
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen (L) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba during a press conference on Jan. 26, 2024, in Mykolaiv. Rasmussen took part in the opening of the office of the Danish Embassy in Mykolaiv. (Eduard Kryzhanivskyi/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Preparations for transferring F-16 fighter jets from Denmark to Ukraine are proceeding as planned, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Mykolaiv on Jan. 26.

Earlier this month, the Danish newspaper Berlingske, citing the country’s defense ministry, reported that the donation of six F-16s could be delayed to Kyiv for as much as six months. Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Air Force, then said there were no official statements from the Danish ministry.

"Many thanks to Lars for his assurance that preparations for delivering of F-16s from Denmark are going according to plan. So far, there are no threats to disrupt this program," Kuleba said.

He praised Copenhagen “for keeping its word,” calling the decision historic, as Denmark, along with the Netherlands, were the first countries to promise F-16s to Ukraine.

In mid-August 2023, Denmark pledged to give Ukraine 19 F-16s, with the first batch of six aircraft expected to be delivered in spring 2024, and the rest by 2025.

Danish and Dutch officials have said the delivery schedule depends on the readiness of Ukraine’s infrastructure and pilots, among other factors.

The "fighter jet coalition" to train Ukrainian pilots and technical staff was officially established in July 2023 by the two countries, along with Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Since then, other nations, such as the U.S., Greece, and Bulgaria, have also pledged to assist with the training efforts.

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