NATO allies send F-16 jets to Ukraine as Biden hosts DC meeting


F16 Jet

NATO allies have begun transferring US-built F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This move aims to bolster Kyiv’s ability to defend itself against Russia. Denmark and the Netherlands supply the initial batch of these advanced jets, and they are expected to be operational in Ukraine this summer.

Speaking at the NATO summit in Washington, DC, Blinken emphasised the significance of this support, stating that the jets would enhance Ukraine’s air defence capabilities against Russian aggression. The summit, which has gathered leaders from NATO’s 32 member countries, strongly emphasises backing Ukraine amidst the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also attending the summit, expressed gratitude on social media to the US, Denmark, and the Netherlands for their contributions. He highlighted the importance of the F-16s in strengthening Ukraine’s air force and reducing Russia’s ability to terrorise Ukrainian civilians. Zelenskyy pointed out that the jets would be crucial in protecting Ukrainians from brutal attacks, such as the recent strike on the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv.

In addition to the F-16 transfer, NATO members announced the delivery of five additional Patriot and other strategic air defence systems to Ukraine. More aid announcements are anticipated during the summit. In a joint statement, leaders from the US, Netherlands, and Denmark reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing Ukraine’s air capabilities and providing ongoing support for training and maintenance. President Joe Biden reiterated the US’s long-term support for Ukraine, underscoring NATO’s unity and strength.