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Reznikov 'confident' that Ukraine will receive modern fighter jets
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov expressed his confidence that Ukraine would receive fighter jets in a television interview on May 1.
According to Reznikov, he had already gone through the process of being told that receiving certain weapons was impossible to seeing it happen "several times." He cited Ukraine's receival of Patriot air defense systems, HIMARS, 155 mm caliber artillery, and other weapons as examples.
Ukraine's allies have been "very practical in making their decisions" and there is "a certain understandable meaning in this pragmatism," Reznikov said, explaining their approach.
"(Our allies) consciously and responsibly want to reach the finish line of this marathon, that is, the victory of Ukraine," Reznikov added.
Ukraine has been requesting fighters for months to defend its skies and maximize the effectiveness of its combined arms forces during a future counteroffensive.
Of all the available models, Ukraine has shown the most interest in the U.S.-built F-16, in service since the 1970s and operated by over 20 nations.
In response to fears that these fighter jets would "provoke" Russia to increase their attacks against Ukriane, Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on April 27 that it would actually deter Russia.
To back up his point, Kuleba went on to list the weapons already provided to Ukraine that some critics thought would escalate Russia's all-out war, including artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, air defense, tanks, and long-range missiles.
"F-16s will not (escalate the war) either. Giving Ukraine F-16s will deter Russia rather than 'provoke' it. Time to take this step," Kuleba added.
However, multiple Western allies, including the U.S. and Germany, have ruled out sending fighter jets in the near term, while debates about their provision are ongoing.
Critics argue that allies' reluctance to supply F-16, Typhoon and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory.
Ukraine’s lack of advanced aircraft and missiles will likely prolong Russia’s war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.