Zelenskyy prepares new weapons wish list for US consideration – media

26 February, 07:13 PM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Office of the President)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Office of the President)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a group of US House GOP members on Feb. 21 that he would send a list of weapons he believes are necessary to accelerate the end of the war with Russia, CNN reported on Feb. 25.

The list includes F-16 fighter jets.

House Foreign Affairs committee chairman Michael McCaul, who led the GOP lawmakers, confirmed this information. He also said that in the US, there is a broad, bipartisan support to give Ukraine what it needs when it comes to winning this war.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's supporters in the US have been divided over supplying the F-16. President Joe Biden and General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, opposed this scenario due to fears of escalation of the Russian full-scale war against Ukraine. However, some top military officials have said recently behind closed doors that F-16s would help Ukraine win.

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A McCaul spokesperson told CNN that the general plans to hold a hearing this spring on alleged Russian war crimes as "the push for providing those weapons intensifies."

CNN also reports that the Republicans view Ukraine's ultimate victory as the only path forward, so they plan to ramp up pressure on President Biden to send more weapons like F-16 fighter jets and longer range missiles to Ukraine.

On Jan. 26, Politico reported that European countries have internal debates over supplying Ukraine with fighter jets, despite some fears of escalation.

Deputy White House national security adviser Jon Finer said that the White House would be discussing fighter jets "very carefully."

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that the US removes nothing from the agenda, answering a question about fighter jets for Ukraine.

President Biden announced during his visit to Kyiv on Feb. 20 a new package of aid for Ukraine that includes more shells for multiple rocket launchers, four Bradley fighting vehicles, Javelins advanced anti-tank weapon systems, and others. The package totals $460 million.

The US announced a new package of military aid worth $2 billion on the first anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. It reportedly includes ammunition for a HIMARS light multiple rocket launcher, 155-mm artillery shells, and drones.

The US National Security Adviser to the President, Jake Sullivan, said Biden and Zelenskyy had discussed the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, but he stressed fighter jets "are not the key capability."

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