Zelensky Thanks Denmark for Pledging to Donate F-16 Fighter Jets

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Denmark for its assist in an handle to the nation’s Parliament on Monday, a day after it grew to become one of many first nations to pledge F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

The Netherlands and Denmark stated Sunday that they might donate dozens of F-16s to Ukraine in what Mr. Zelensky referred to as a “breakthrough” in his nation’s longstanding quest to amass the plane, which it considers crucial within the struggle in opposition to Russia.

“Whenever you defend individuals’s proper to life, you might be joined by others who worth life,” Mr. Zelensky stated Monday through the handle in Copenhagen. “And this makes you collectively invincible! I thanks, Denmark, for serving to Ukraine to grow to be invincible!”

The procurement of American-made F-16s to complement a fleet of Soviet-era jets has been a precedence for Mr. Zelensky’s authorities for months because it seeks a bonus over Russia’s air pressure and to enhance its personal air defenses. Ukrainian officers acknowledged final week, nevertheless, that NATO international locations wouldn’t donate the planes earlier than subsequent yr, which is simply too late to be used in a counteroffensive the federal government in Kyiv launched this summer season.

President Biden, setting apart months of resistance, stated in Could that NATO international locations might prepare Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, a monthslong course of, and on Thursday a U.S. official stated that the USA would enable allies to ship the jets.

Mr. Zelensky nodded on the prolonged course of to amass the jets, saying in his handle on Monday that there “was a time once they stated that this may by no means occur.”

“Solidarity become management. Particularly, your management, Denmark,” he stated. “And it’s management that multiplies our collective energy.”

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark, Vladimir Barbin, stated that the Danish determination would result in “an escalation of the battle,” the Russian state information company Tass reported.

Mr. Zelensky’s journey to Denmark started on Sunday with a go to to an air pressure base in Jutland, the place he met with Ukrainian pilots being skilled on F-16s and Denmark’s Protection Ministry stated in a press release that it will donate 19 of the jets to Ukraine.

He had traveled there from the Netherlands, the place Mr. Zelensky stated that the nation would donate 42 jets as soon as Ukrainian pilots and engineers had been skilled.

F-16s would improve Ukraine’s ground-launched air defenses, that are used to battle off Russian missile assaults, and will additionally act as a deterrent to Moscow in the long term as a result of they might erase its aerial superiority.

Ukraine can also be pushing to acquire Swedish Gripen warplanes, and Mr. Zelensky stated throughout a go to to Sweden this weekend that it was “getting nearer” to acquiring them. He additionally reached a extra tangible settlement on Saturday involving the availability of armored autos.

Sweden has to date refused to ship Gripens to Ukraine, with officers saying that the jets — constructed by Saab — are wanted to defend its personal borders. Russia’s invasion prompted Sweden, and neighboring Finland, to use to affix NATO. Finland has since grow to be a member of the alliance, however Sweden’s utility has been held up by Turkey.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden didn’t point out the fight planes throughout a information convention with Mr. Zelensky on Saturday. Ukraine has obtained Soviet-era jets from Poland and Slovakia.


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