Biden reverses course and gives European allies the green light to send F-16s to Ukraine to fight Putin, ahead of G7 meeting with Zelensky

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President Joe Biden has reversed course and given European allies the green light to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in its battle against Russia. 

Facing pressure from Europe to help Ukraine end the conflict, Biden agreed to the move, informing leaders at the G7 summit. 

‘President Biden informed his G7 counterparts the United States will support the joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth generation fighter aircraft including F-16s,’ National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Saturday.

‘Over the past few months we and our allies and partners have really focused on providing Ukraine with the system’s weapons and training needs to be able to conduct effective offensive operations this spring,’ he said.

Ukraine is planning a massive counter offensive to retake its territoryterrority and attempt to drive out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces. But the delivery of F-16s – and the training to operate them – will take months.

The announcement by the United States comes ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s in person visit to the G7 summit in Hiroshima.

Biden will meet with Zelensky on Sunday. Zelensky’s surprise appearance comes after a stop in Jeddah to address the Arab League. He’s traveling on a French military plane.

‘I welcome the historic decision of the United States and @POTUS to support an international fighter jet coalition. This will greatly enhance our army in the sky,’ Zelensky wrote on Twitter. 

Zelensky was in Europe this week to meet with leaders from France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany to shore up alliances and ask for more aid.


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