UK could be first to send Ukraine fighter jets, Zelenskyy’s aide says
Andriy Yermak (Photo:president.gov.ua)
The UK may become the first country to decide to transfer modern fighter jets to Ukraine, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, said in a Telegram post on Feb. 22.
“I do not rule out that the UK may become the first country to unblock the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine,” said Yermak.
“There are still issues that need to be agreed upon first.”
At the same time, UK PM Rishi Sunak in an interview with Ukrainian news outlet European Pravda said that supplying Western aircraft is a challenging task.
“Regarding the fighter jets, I said when your president was here that we would be the first country to train Ukrainian pilots to use such fighter jets or other aircraft,” he told Ukrainian journalists.
"It's not just about buying them, it's about tactics, and that's a broader part of the plan, which consists in how we can ensure that Ukraine can protect itself not only today but also in the long term."
He added that it’s not easy to transfer jets to Ukraine because "there's a whole set of things that come along."
On Feb. 22, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine is constantly working on creating an international coalition of countries willing to supply Kyiv with modern aircraft.
On Feb. 20, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukraine may receive fighter aircraft from allies in one or two months.
On Feb. 8, Zelenskyy made an official visit to the UK. The president met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and addressed the Parliament.
Subsequent media reports said that Sunak instructed UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to look into which of its aircraft London could make available to Kyiv. A final decision is yet to be made, however.
Zelenskyy said that there were “certain positive decisions regarding the fighter jets that remained behind the scenes,” following an address to the European Parliament on Feb. 9.
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