Ukraine makes another request for F-16s from US
Denys Shmyhal visits Canada and the USA (Photo:Denys Shmyhal Prime Minister of Ukraine / Telegram)
On a visit to the United States, Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and repeated Ukraine’s request for F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles, CNN reported on April 12.
Shmyhal began by asserting that Ukraine will win the war unleashed by Moscow, but increased military assistance will bring the victory closer and save the lives of Ukrainian troops.
Without commenting on specific items of military gear the United States may or may not supply Ukraine with, Austin promised to expand the production of weapons for Ukraine. The secretary also noted Kyiv’s efforts to make sure U.S. aid is tightly controlled and is used exclusively by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Let me commend you for the unprecedented level of transparency that Ukraine has provided to ensure our security assistance remains in the hands of Ukraine’s defenders,” said Austin.
In a subsequent Telegram post, Shmyhal added he and Austin discussed Ukraine’s urgent needs for the planned counteroffensive and joint work towards “future capabilities.” He thanked Secretary Austin for establishing the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (also known as Ramstein format).
According to the minister, Ukraine now needs more anti-air systems, heavy artillery and equipment, mortars, and ammunition – on top of much-sought long-range missiles.
The Pentagon’s press release said Austin briefed Shmyhal on key aims of the upcoming Ramstein-11 meeting on April 21, and reiterated Washington’s commitment to continue aiding Ukraine for as long as it takes.
On April 11, Shmyhal met with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, securing an expansion of the existing Canada–Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and additional security assistance from Ottawa.
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