Ukraine's Defence Minister explains how to understand "no" from US regarding F-16 supply
Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, said that a "no" from the United States regarding Western fighter jets for Ukraine should now be understood as a refusal only at this particular moment in time, and Ukraine previously passed such "stages of refusal" with all Western weapons.
According to European Pravda, he said this at a briefing in Paris after a meeting with French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu.
"In the beginning, all types of assistance passed the "no" stage. This means "no" as of today," said Reznikov, adding that in the end, the focus moved to the discussion of technical possibilities, then to the training of crews and, finally, the transfer of certain systems.
"It happened with HIMARS, it happened with 155-mm artillery, with the Bradley [IFVs]. With the German Leopard, it was also a "no" at first, and now we have a tank coalition. That's why I believe in the future "aircraft coalition". But there must always be a leader first. That's why I'm here," Reznikov said, hinting that he expected French leadership in the issue of aircraft as well as light wheeled tanks, which was also a certain impetus for the rest of the allies.
According to him, at the meeting, the ministers discussed Ukraine's needs for aerial platforms with an emphasis on air defence.
"Any aircraft is a platform, from which one or another type of weapon can be used, so we did not talk about the specific name of the aircraft. We talked about the fact that tactical aviation is also an element of air defence. We talked and agreed that we will research this issue together with partners, which could be such a practical platform for improving our air defence capabilities," Reznikov said.
Commenting on the issue of aircraft for Ukraine, Lecornu recalled the statement of President Emmanuel Macron that "there are no taboos" for France, and hinted that a personal meeting of ministers was necessary, particularly in order to discuss issues that are not discussed in telephone conversations.
As reported, on Monday, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, said that the USA did not plan to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. After that, the White House said that the US was already providing significant military aid to Ukraine and was focused on the needs of Kyiv and the situation on the battlefield.
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