Ukraine's Foreign Minister Urges Partners to Speed Up Training of Pilots on F-16

Friday, 28 April 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, is asking Ukraine's friends to expedite the decision to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

On April 28, at the invitation of Minister Kuleba, the Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the Deputy Secretary of State of Finland are visiting Odessa together.

The minister reminded his colleagues of the briefing by Vice Admiral Neizhpapa, Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, where he spoke about the importance of F-16 and Western aircraft in general to ensure the safety of the airspace over the Black Sea.

"I turned to my colleagues as friends of Ukraine, as countries that operate modern Western combat aircraft, including F-16s. I appealed to them to make every effort to expedite the decision to start training Ukrainian pilots, primarily on F-16s, which will eventually lead to a decision to provide such aircraft to Ukraine," he said at a press conference in Odesa.

"We must take Russia out of the sky," the minister stressed.

According to him, Ukraine needs not only air defence systems which its friends have already shared with it but also combat aircraft.

"We need combat aircraft to cover our combat brigades, which will go on the counteroffensive. We need combat aircraft to protect the Black Sea and our coastal territories," Kuleba said.

"I have a feeling that colleagues are in favour of this issue, for which I am very grateful," he added.

As reported, Dmytro Kuleba believes that Russia's missile strikes on Ukrainian cities on the night of 27-28 April are further evidence of the need to arm Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

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