The Biden administration waited until the G7 summit in Japan on Friday, May 19, to formally announce that it would no longer oppose the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. In addition, Washington will participate in pilot training, which will last several months at European bases. At this point, Washington has not decided to supply Kyiv with F-16s from its own fleet. On the other hand, by facilitating the acquisition of US F-35s, the US could encourage some NATO allies to abandon them.
Since the beginning of the Russian-initiated war, Kiev has sought to upgrade its fleet of dated and unsophisticated Soviet fighters. But Russian superiority in this area remained intact. Poland was the first member of NATO to decide to deliver four Mig-29 aircraft to its neighbor on March 16, following Slovakia. America’s green light makes it possible to imagine a change in scale. In a tweet, Volodymyr Zelensky praised “Historic End” As a favor “International Fighter Alliance”. The alliance was announced by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte during a meeting in London on May 16.
On the first anniversary of the war, in late February, Joe Biden was asked about the F-16s on ABC. Mr. He explained that Zelensky had no one “need”. “Put it out of the way for now”, Regarding the possible delivery of these devices, Mr. Added Biden. In terms of military cooperation with Kiev, the administration has continued to push back the red line of what it deems acceptable, without risking a confrontation with Russia and the outbreak of conflict beyond Ukrainian borders. In fact, Washington made several points.
Interwoven military and political concepts
The first turn was on the Himars guided missile systems starting in the summer of 2022. In late December, during Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise visit to Washington, the administration also announced the delivery of a Patriot missile battery essential for anti-aircraft defenses. Security. In January, the Pentagon confirmed that Ukrainian soldiers would be trained to use the system. But the most exciting leg change was the announcement at the end of January of the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks. This decision would not be implemented on the ground for several months, but it helped lift the embargo on Germany, which agreed to supply the Panther tanks.
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