US joins Zelenskyy’s ‘fighter jet coalition’ in Ukraine
The United States is the latest country to join in on Ukrainian President Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “fighter jet coalition.”
President Biden informed his fellow G7 leaders on Friday in Japan that the US will be helping train Ukrainian pilots on high-tech, modern aircraft — the latest member of the loosely-defined “coalition.”
The term has been used by US and Ukrainian media to describe Zelenskyy’s international call for ally nations to help train Ukrainian pilots on modern military aircraft.
The U.S. has thus far not committed to providing aircraft directly, only promising to train the Ukrainian airmen. The hypothetical training is expected to take place in Europe.
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“I welcome the historic decision of the United States and POTUS to support an international fighter jet coalition,” Zelenskyy said on social media.
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He added, “This will greatly enhance our army in the sky. I count on discussing the practical implementation of this decision at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima.”
The US’s decision was supported by several other G7 nations facing similar requests from Kyiv.
“We welcome the upcoming approval by the United States of the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighterjets. Together with our close allies Denmark, Belgium and the UK we are working on the modalities. We stand ready to support Ukraine on this,” said Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollengren.
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The U.K. has similarly not thus far agreed to provide aircraft for battle but has committed to help train Ukrainian pilots.
Zelenskyy met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Chequers, the leader’s official country residence. Sunak greeted his counterpart warmly, hugging and shaking hands before ushering him inside.
“This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke,” Sunak said.
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“[Ukrainians] need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year,” the prime minister said.