G7 leaders to provide Zelenskyy with F-16s

2023-05-20 12:08:41 | Last Update : 2023-05-20 14:30:40

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is preparing to attend the G7 leaders summit. Zelenskyy is expected to hold bilateral meetings within the summit. G7 leaders announced that they will provide F-16s to Ukraine before Zelenskyy's trip.

G7 leaders to provide Zelenskyy with F-16s
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Hiroshima, Japan, to attend the G7 leaders' summit. It was Zelenskyy's farthest trip since the start of Russia's 15-month occupation.

"Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today," he wrote on Twitter upon his arrival.

Zelenskyy is expected to hold bilateral meetings with US President Joe Biden and Japanese President Fumio Kishida, who is hosting the G7 summit.


The leaders issued a statement on Ukraine ahead of Zelenskyy's participation in the summit. In the communiqué, Ukraine will be provided with F-16s. Ukrainian pilots will be trained to fly these aircraft. 

In a statement provided to VOA, a senior administration official said on Friday Biden informed G7 leaders that the United States will support a joint effort with allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including F-16s, to further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian air force.

According to officials, the training will take place at European facilities in the coming weeks and will take months to complete.

"As the training unfolds, in the coming months, we will work with our allies to determine when plans will be delivered, who will be delivering them and how many," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a Saturday press briefing in Hiroshima.

The warplanes will not be used for a planned counterstrike against Russia, Sullivan said.


Zelenskyy welcomed Biden's decision, saying in a tweet it would "greatly enhance our army in the sky."

Describing the plans to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jet fighters as a "historic decision," Zelenskyy said he would discuss the details with Biden when they meet Sunday.

Source: VOA

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