May 20, 2023 | 2:33 p.m
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that Western countries were involved in an “escalation scenario” regarding plans to supply Ukraine with F-16s.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said plans by the US and its Western allies to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and help train its pilots amid its ongoing war with Moscow carry “huge risks”.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister: “We can see that Western countries continue to adhere to the scenario of escalation, which carries them to grave risks.” Alexander Grushko told the state news agency TASS.
“In any case, we will take this into account when making plans,” he said. “We have all the means necessary to achieve our goals.”
Grushko’s warning came in response to President Joe Biden’s announcement on Friday at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that the United States would support a joint international effort to supply US-made F-16s to Kiev.
Biden said the United States would train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16, along with other aircraft.
Meanwhile, other NATO allies such as Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway could supply actual aircraft to Kiev.
The move was a marked shift by the Biden administration, which has repeatedly refused to send F-16s to Ukraine despite President Volodymyr Zelensky’s begging for the plane for more than a year.
It’s unclear when exactly Ukraine will receive the fighter jets or which country will provide them, but a senior Biden administration official he told NBC News They will not be used in the next counterattack.
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