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UK government rules out sending fighter jets to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2023 3:55 PM 1 min read
A Typhoon takes off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire during a visit by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following the announcement that Britain will work to develop next-generation fighter jets with Italy and Japan on Dec. 9, 2022, in Lincoln, United Kingdom (Joe Giddens - WPA Pool via Getty Images).
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The U.K. Prime Minister's spokesman said on Jan. 31 that "it is not practical" to send British fighter jets to Ukraine, as quoted by Sky News. "The U.K.'s Typhoon and F-35 fighter jets are extremely sophisticated and take months to learn how to fly," explained the spokesman.

Ukrainian officials have recently stepped up calls on allies to supply advanced fighter jets, mainly F-16s, as Ukraine's Armed Forces use old Soviet-era aircraft. However, Western countries have been reluctant to send the fighters so far.

"We will continue to provide and accelerate our military support to Ukraine and listen carefully to their requests," the U.K. governmental spokesman added.

This statement comes hours after U.S. President Joe Biden said that his country wouldn't send American fighter jets to Ukraine, even though the U.S. is ramping up military assistance in the form of artillery and tanks.

On the same day, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he does not rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine. He added, though, that multiple conditions must be met before doing so, including the assurance that such equipment will not be used to "touch Russian soil."

The U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Jan. 30 that he was keeping an open mind about providing Ukraine with fighter jets if a coalition is created, according to Sky News.

According to Ukraine's Presidential Office head Andrii Yermak, Poland is ready to provide Ukraine with long-requested F-16 fighter jets in coordination with NATO.

The Dutch government also said on Jan. 20 that Ukraine hasn't yet formally requested the jets adding that the Netherlands is ready to look into providing them when asked.

Kyiv's intensified requests for heavy weaponry from the West come as Western, Ukrainian, and Russian sources continue to indicate that Russia is preparing for an imminent offensive, according to the latest update of the Institute for the Study of War.

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