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Norway considers training Ukrainian pilots

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 24, 2023 10:45 PM 1 min read
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Norway will "consider various ways to contribute to the training and education of Ukrainian personnel on F-16 fighter jets," according to a statement released by the Norwegian Defense Ministry on May 24.

"The government is positive about such an initiative. Together with allies and partners, Norway is now considering how we can contribute to training and education," Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said.

The U.K. and the Netherlands agreed on May 17 to build a "fighter jet coalition" for Ukraine. On May 20, the U.S. also declared that it would join the initiative, as did Portugal and Denmark.

While not all countries are prepared to provide Ukraine with advanced Western fighter jets, an increasing number are willing to provide training on how to pilot them. French President Emmanuel Macron said on May 15 that France has "opened the door" for training Ukrainian pilots.

So far, Ukraine has received 14 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland and 13 from Slovakia.

However, Ukraine has shown the most interest in the U.S.-built F-16, which has been in service since the 1970s and operated by over 20 nations.

Critics argue that allies' reluctance to supply Western fighter jets and long-range missiles to Ukraine may prolong Russia’s war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.

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