17:33 18 May 2023

NATO defense ministers will discuss supplying jets to Ukraine at June meeting – Spiegel

NATO defense member states will discuss the possible supply of Western-made fighter jets to Ukraine at their meeting in June.

It will precede the Alliance's summit in Vilnius, the GenSec Jens Stoltenberg says to Spiegel. 

In response to the question, Stoltenberg noted that the transfer of arms evolved as the war progressed. The Secretary-General clarified that anti-tank weapons were the first important equipment for Ukrainians, then it was howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, and tanks.

Stoltenberg reminded that Poland and Slovakia have already handed over Soviet-type MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.

We are constantly discussing whether modern Western fighter jets are needed both in NATO and with Ukraine. I expect that this topic will also be discussed at the meeting of defense ministers in June, he emphasized.

The Secretary-General clarified that ensuring their functioning is no less important than the supply of weapons, which involves a huge amount of ammunition and spare parts, as well as round-the-clock maintenance.

Earlier, the Pentagon stated that it would not object to the transfer of American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by third countries.

The UK has also announced the start of an international coalition of countries aimed at procuring F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine.

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz refused to cooperate in the initiative of sending warplanes to Ukraine.

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