“You have to look at the long term.”
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan indicated on Sunday that the decision announced Friday by U.S. President Joe Biden to endorse the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. with a view to the possible delivery of these aircraft to Kiev does not contradict any kind of initial position on the matter and obeys a time-consuming strategy.
“Nothing has changed.”Sullivan assured during the G7 summit in Hiroshima (Japan), before insisting that the United States had never ruled out any kind of initiative regarding the delivery of these aircraft.
“We’ve reached a point where it’s time to look at the long term,” Sullivan said, hinting that the White House views the delivery of these aircraft as an indication that the conflict may have no end in sight.
Biden always had been reluctant to send F-16s to Ukraine, but has finally agreed to a middle ground in which European allies could export such aircraft and also initiate training. Governments such as that of the United Kingdom have already expressed themselves in this sense, as the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, recently made clear when he received Zelenski.
This coalition of countries, which would also be joined by the Netherlands, will decide the details of future deliveries, including how many fighters are delivered and when. “Discussions to improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force. reflect our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s self-defense.”US administration sources told US media on Friday during the announcement of the training.
Zelenski has called for a “coalition of fighters” similar to the one that previously served for Ukraine to receive tanks. However, for now only Poland and Slovakia have taken the step of delivering aircraft, albeit of MiG-29 type, a Soviet-era model that, according to Kiev, does not meet battlefield needs.