No negotiations between Kyiv and Berlin on fighter jets – Ambassador Makeiev

16 February, 06:17 PM
Oleksiy Makeiev (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Oleksiy Makeiev (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

The Ukrainian government is not currently at talks with Germany regarding the transfer of fighter jets, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Oleksiy Makeiev, said in an interview with German publication t-online on Feb. 16.

Discussions continue, but not with Berlin, Makeiev added.

Makeiev said the creation of a tank coalition was a “breakthrough,” and together with battle tanks, Ukraine received “almost the entire range of possible weapons”: air defense, artillery, armored vehicles.

A fourth element is the training of Ukrainian fighters on Western weapons, he said.

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“Air defense includes not only surface-to-air systems, such as the German IRIS-T, but also air-to-air systems,” Makeiev said. “That is, planes that intercept Russian cruise missiles and shoot down fighters. We’re currently conducting these discussions with countries that have such machines.”

Meanwhile, the ambassador rejected the proposals of his predecessor in office and current deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andriy Melnyk for the supply of submarines and warships. Makeiev said that there is no need for them in Ukraine now.

Earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled out the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine, and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the issue of aircraft can be discussed in three to four months. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said Germany’s position on the transfer of planes to Kyiv is not key.

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 instructed Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to investigate which aircraft London could send to Kyiv. A final decision has not been made yet.

Kyiv also sent the Netherlands with an official request for the provision of fighter jets.

After speaking before the European Parliament and at the EU summit, President Zelenskyy said that there are “certain positive decisions that remained behind the scenes” regarding the fighter jets.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry is working to obtain the first squadron of foreign combat aircraft. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that some of Ukraine’s European partners have already “taken up” the issue of fighter jets.

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