Italy “unlikely” to send fighter jets to Ukraine, says foreign minister

21 February, 05:20 PM
Antonio Tajani (Photo:REUTERS/Remo Casilli)

Antonio Tajani (Photo:REUTERS/Remo Casilli)

It’s “unlikely” that Italy will transfer fighter jets to Ukraine, U.S. television channel CNN quoted Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani as saying on Feb. 21.

In an interview with Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, Tajani said that the issue of sending fighter jets had not been discussed “yet,” but any such donation would have to be made in coordination with Italy’s allies.

“We’ll have to coordinate with our allies, figure out what kind of planes to send to them, because it doesn’t make sense to deliver different models to the Ukrainians,” he said.

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“It seems to me practically impossible for Italian fighters to be sent.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is currently visiting Kyiv, and Tajani said she would assure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Italy’s continued support for Ukraine.

“It’s beyond question,” he said.

“We have already approved a sixth package [of aid] and the sending of materiel is being finalized. In a few weeks, in collaboration with the French, we will also send the Samp-T air defense missile system to Ukraine.”

Italian newspaper la Repubblica reported on Feb. 20 that Italy is reportedly ready to donate five Tornado or AMX fighter jets to Ukraine, but only if it is not the first country to do so.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the United Kingdom on Feb. 8 and called for the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine. The media reported that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had instructed the country’s defense minister, Ben Wallace, to look into what aircraft London could send to Kyiv.

Kyiv also made an official request for jet fighters from the Netherlands.

Zelenskyy said that there were “certain positive decisions regarding the fighter jets that remained behind the scenes,” following an address to the European Parliament.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry is working to acquire the first squadron of foreign combat aircraft, the Foreign Ministry has said. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that some of Ukraine’s European partners have already “taken up the issue of fighter jets.”

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced they would not transfer aircraft to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Poland says they are ready to act only with the broad support from the West.

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