Ukrainian pilots training on F-16s abroad will return with fighter jets: Foreign minister

Ukrainian pilots training on F-16s abroad will return with fighter jets: Foreign minister

Dmytro Kuleba says he believes issue behind provision of F-16s is technical rather than political

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – Ukraine's foreign minister said on Thursday that he believes Ukrainian pilots currently undergoing F-16 training abroad will return to the country with the fighter jets.

“The training is about to end. I think that the Ukrainian pilots will return from training with the planes,” Dmytro Kuleba said during a morning program on the local 1+1 TV channel.

Kuleba further said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would be conducting meetings this week to speed up the process of F-16 fighter jets’ provision.

“I will say diplomatically: I think that soon there will be good news," Kuleba said, adding that he believes the issue behind provision of F-16s is technical rather than political, which involves the training of pilots and engineers, as well as the preparation of necessary infrastructure.

He said the technicalities for the transfer of the F-16s is another issue, but that it is the soldier on the ground that will win.

“And our task is that he has everything to achieve this goal,” he said.

Western nations have continued to support Ukraine with military and financial aid since the country’s war with Russia began last year on Feb. 24. So far, they have been reluctant to send fighter jets to Kyiv.

However, Denmark and the Netherlands are playing a leading role among Western countries in training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

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