Burrell: The deliveries are coming
It is said that Poland is already training Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets
05/23/2023, 1:09 p.m
While some countries are still arguing about the usefulness of delivering fighter jets to Ukraine, Poland seems to be making progress. According to EU foreign policy chief Borrell, Ukrainian pilots are already being trained there on F-16s. Delivery will be soon too.
According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Poland is likely to be the first EU country to start training pilots of Ukrainian combat aircraft. “Experimental training on F-16s has begun in several countries,” Borrell said on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union defense ministers in Brussels. He cited Poland as an example. A diplomat from Brussels, the European Union, confirmed the statement. On the other hand, the Ministry of Defense in Warsaw has not commented on the request at the moment.
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Olungren confirmed in Brussels that her country is part of the transatlantic fighter jet alliance that wants to train Ukrainian pilots and could also deliver F-16 fighter jets to Kiev in a “next step”.
After getting the go-ahead from Washington, Olungren said, the Netherlands could “work with Denmark, Belgium, the United Kingdom and other allies in Europe”. Training should start as soon as possible. Since the Netherlands wanted to switch to the F-35 fighter jets, it might make sense to abandon the F-16.
Pistorius: German contribution ‘irrelevant’
And Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said about the possible German participation: “The possibilities for this will be very limited and are currently being studied.” He stressed in Brussels that the German contribution “is not significant because we simply do not have any F-16s and presumably we cannot help much with the training of pilots either.” Pistorius said he could not comment on the actions of other countries. But he does not see “any danger of escalation” with regard to Russia.
EU foreign policy chief Borrell compared the controversy over the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine to the debate over main battle tanks last year: “At first everyone was hesitant, and in the end the decision was made about military support because for defense it is absolutely necessary for Ukraine.” . So it was with Leopard tanks and so it will be with F-16s, the foreign affairs officer was convinced.