Joe Biden rules out sending F-16s to Ukraine


Ukraine has again called on the US to send fighter jets to support the conflict in the country, but US President Joe Biden has refused to do so.

A reporter asked Mr Biden on Monday if the US would provide the planes, and he simply replied “no”.

The German leader also ruled out sending fighter jets the day before.

In its ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine needs jets to defend its airspace.

Other countries, including Belgium and Pakistan, also use F-16 Fighting Falcons as one of the world’s most reliable fighter jets.

The Ukrainian air force currently uses Soviet-era fighter jets, made before the country declared independence from the USSR over 30 years ago.

Mr. Biden, however, has repeatedly turned down Ukraine’s requests for the jets, focusing instead on other areas of military assistance.

In addition to the US, the UK and Germany also announced last week that they would supply Kyiv with 31 Abrams tanks.

He called on allies to create a coalition of fighter jets that would provide Ukraine with Eurofighters, Tornados, French Rafales, and Swedish Gripen jets.

Germany’s Chancellor said on Sunday that sending other military aid to Ukraine seemed frivolous after committing to sending Leopard 2s.

According to Olaf Scholz, the NATO military alliance was not at war with Russia and would “not allow such an escalation”.

Moscow has accused NATO of being an aggressor by proxy. Members of the alliance, including the US and Germany, have been reluctant to send military aid that could see the conflict escalate.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated this sentiment. He said that while the provision of support to Ukraine should not limit France’s ability to defend itself, it should not further inflame the situation.

The Netherlands, for instance, has not yet confirmed whether fighter jets will be sent.

Polish officials have indicated, however, that they are willing to supply fighter jets with NATO’s cooperation.

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