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Kuleba: Ukraine's ambitions to acquire aircraft go beyond F-16s

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 31, 2023 4:27 PM 2 min read
French-made Rafale fighters and a Polish Air Force U.S.-made F-16 take part in a military parade in Warsaw on Polish Army Day, Aug. 15, 2023. (Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's ambitions to acquire aircraft are not limited by the delivery of F-16s, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview published by Le Monde on Aug. 31.

Kyiv will continue to try to obtain different types of aircraft for its military, Kuleba said, mentioning that Ukraine was interested in Rafale jets made by the French company Dassault Aviation.

Ukraine continues to explore the issue "with other countries that produce the latest generation aircraft," Kuleba said.

The minister said he was confident in France's solidarity with Ukraine, as evidenced by its military, humanitarian, diplomatic, and economic support.  

He also discussed the threat posed by Russia to Europe in the interview. "It is obvious that Russia is neither a friend nor a part of Europe," he said.

One country "will have to take care of the security of the eastern flank of Europe, and that country will be Ukraine – Ukraine in NATO, of course,” he added.

Kuleba was in France on Aug. 30 for an official visit. He met French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed "further military support, expanding the Peace Formula coalition and (Ukraine's) grain exports to countries in Africa and beyond."

On Aug. 29, Kuleba met his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, who reaffirmed France's backing for Kyiv amid the ongoing Russian invasion: "This support will continue and intensify as long as needed to defeat the Russian aggression."

Lithuanian foreign minister urges EU to drop the phrase ‘supporting Ukraine as long as it takes’
European countries should stop saying that they will “support Ukraine for as long as it takes” and plan for a Ukrainian victory, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Aug. 31.

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