2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
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Ukraine “positive” about prospect of creating a fighter jet “coalition,” says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he feels “positive” about the prospect of Western allies providing Kyiv with more fighter jets.
Zelensky spoke at a brief press conference alongside Rishi Sunak after the two leaders met at the British prime minister’s country retreat Chequers on Monday.
“Today we talked about the jets – a very important topic for us,” Zelensky said. “We want to create this jet coalition and I’m very positive about it. We spoke about it. And I see that in the closest time you will hear some, I think, very important decisions, but we have to work a little bit more about it.”
However, Sunak struck a more cautious tone. “We are going to be a key part of the coalition of countries that provides that support to Volodymr and Ukraine. It is not a straightforward thing … to build up that fighter combat aircraft capability,” he said.
Sunak announced in February that the UK would start training Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard fighter jets.
Slow progress: For months, Ukraine has made pleas to its Western allies to supply more military hardware. More than just ammunition and artillery, Ukraine wants tanks and jets.
In January, Ukraine secured a major breakthrough after Germany announced it would permit the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to aid the country’s defense efforts. The United States also pledged to send Abrams tanks.
Yet many of Kyiv’s Western allies have been reluctant to provide Ukraine with fighter jets, with the notable exception of Poland.
However, Monday’s discussion of a fighter jet “coalition” shows that Ukraine has not abandoned its demands — and that its allies are still listening.
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