Talks on F-16 jets for Ukraine can bring success with more pressure, says Polish minister

14 February, 08:54 PM
Mariusz Błaszczak (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Mariusz Błaszczak (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

The negotiations on the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine can be successful, but that requiems keeping up pressure on Kyiv’s Western partners, Polish media outlet Interia quoted Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak as saying on Feb. 14.

According to Błaszczak, it is now important for Ukraine to get ammunition. He referred to a statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who said that NATO needs to build up its stockpiles.

When asked about the F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine, the minister said there is no way to do without pressure on other countries, as was the case with the Patriot air defense system and Leopard tanks.

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“We realize that our potential in this area is limited,” Błaszczak said.

“We have only 48 F-16s, but the allies have far more capabilities. I think this conversation will also end with positive decisions, we just have to put pressure.”

Earlier, the Financial Times newspaper reported that the United States does not rule out the transfer or re-export of fighter jets to Kyiv, but, according to Western allies, additional air defense systems and ammunition are of higher priority now.

Ukraine has been asking for fighter jets to be supplied from partner countries since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, though no country has agreed to send the modern weapons to Ukraine yet. However, during a recent address to the European Parliament by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola called EU member states to consider the possibility.

The UK has also announced that it will be expanding its current training program for Ukrainian troops to include fighter pilots and marines.

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