US and NATO do not intend to supply kyiv with advanced fighter jets – Official

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – June 02, 2022) The United States and its NATO allies are not considering the possibility of handing over advanced combat aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces because there is no need for such at the moment, said US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith.

“No,” Smith told Air Force Magazine Monday, when asked if the United States or NATO members had discussed transferring American planes to Ukraine.

Smith also said the type of weapons supplied to kyiv are tied to its real-time battlefield needs. She added that US and NATO allies are “in constant contact with the Ukrainians.” Contact group meetings at different times have covered air defence, ammunition, coastal defense and armored vehicles.

“We have seen an evolution in terms of what has been provided. It reflects the evolution of the war, the situation on the ground, the Ukrainians’ own internal debates about what is needed at this time,” Smith said. , quoted by the media.

According to Air Force Magazine, the head of NATO’s eastern flank said alliance members had not “directly” talked about supplying kyiv with US aircraft.

The official said the allies hardly even discussed the transfer of Soviet-era fighters like the MiG-29.

“There are other ways to support the (Ukrainian) Air Force,” the official added.

In May, Poland transferred a large number of spare parts and weapons for MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine to help restore the country’s air combat capabilities. Initially, the talks focused on the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine. However, an agreement at NATO level was not reached.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly appealed to the West for additional arms deliveries. Although a number of countries have started supplying certain types of weapons to Kyiv, the Ukrainian authorities are still unhappy. In particular, kyiv has repeatedly criticized Germany for slow deliveries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Ukraine needs all the weapons it asks for, not what other countries give.

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