Biden says no F-16s for Ukraine as Russia claims gains
STORY: The U.S. will not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, President Joe Biden said on Monday.
His comments come after the U.S. and Germany announced plans last week to provide Ukraine with heavy tanks,
ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock on the issue.
Ukraine's defense minister said he will now push for Western fourth-generation fighter planes, the F-16 included.
France and Poland have signaled they are willing to entertain such a request, but when asked about the issue, Biden was categorical.
REPORTER: "Will the United States provide F-16s to Ukraine?"
Biden's remarks could put him at odds with other Western allies.
Just hours earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters in the Hague that "by definition, nothing is excluded" when it comes to military assistance.
Poland's prime minister also did not rule out a possible supply of F-16s, though he said any such transfer would take place "in complete coordination" with NATO countries.
All this comes as Biden is reportedly planning a trip to Europe to coincide with the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Biden confirmed on Monday that he would visit Poland, QUOTE: "SOON".
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is urging the West to hasten delivery of its promised weapons so his forces can go on the offensive.
He accuses Russia of relentlessly attacking the east as revenge for Ukraine's resistance.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has warned any additional supplies of Western weaponry to Ukraine could escalate the conflict.