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Sweden considers Ukraine’s request for fighter jets
Sweden received a request from Ukraine to transfer Gripen fighter aircraft, and it is being considered, Swedish Defense Minister Paul Johnson said on Feb. 15. But these aircraft are very important for Sweden's defense, he said.
According to Johnson, the priority for Sweden is to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense for now.
The Swedish government has provided Ukraine with military aid in the amount of about 1 billion euros and is ready to continue its support, he said.
The decision on whether to provide Ukraine with Western fighter jets is “not the most urgent issue now,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Feb. 14, ahead of a meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers.
Earlier, several Western officials also told the Financial Times that Ukraine’s needs for ammunition and air defense outweighed longer-term requests, such as fighter jets, as Russia has started its new offensive.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Feb. 9 that “several” European leaders expressed readiness to provide Ukraine with fighter jets and other necessary weapons without further details.
Meanwhile, only Poland has publicly shown readiness to send fighter jets to Ukraine – but it said the delivery needs NATO approval.
The West has been reluctant to transfer aircraft to Ukraine after green-lighting modern tanks for Ukraine amid fears of escalating tensions with Russia.