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NBC: US, allies plan to supply Ukraine with F-16 jets, official says

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 19, 2023 10:34 PM 1 min read
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Washington and its allies plan to provide Ukraine with U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, but it's still unclear which countries would send them, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News.

The delivery timing has also not been established, but the official said Ukraine wouldn't be able to use the planes for its upcoming counteroffensive.

In the next months, the coalition will decide on details of the potential transfer, including how many jets Ukraine will receive, NBC News wrote on May 19.

If confirmed, this move means a substantial downturn from Washington's previous stance on providing Ukraine with F-16s, which Kyiv has requested for months. In February, U.S. President Joe Biden ruled out giving Ukraine advanced fighter jets for the moment, saying Kyiv didn't need them.

Earlier on May 19, CNN reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the Biden administration had conveyed to European allies its willingness to permit them to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte have recently agreed to build an "international coalition" to help procure F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine.

Several European countries possess a supply of F-16 jets, including the Netherlands, which has indicated its readiness to export some of them to Ukraine.

Nevertheless, given the sensitive U.S. technology incorporated in the aircraft, the U.S. would need to approve the third-party transfer.

CNN: US to support F-16 training initiative for Ukrainian pilots
U.S. President Joe Biden informed G7 leaders about his decision at the Hiroshima summit on May 19, CNN reported, citing a senior U.S. official.

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