US President, Joe Biden has said he wouldn’t send American fighter jets to Ukraine, even as the United States ramps up military assistance in the form of artillery and tanks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sought fighter jets to help sustain his war effort against Russia. Biden has consistently said the planes aren’t on the table, even as he has given aid in other areas.
F-16 jets will take the war to a whole different level as Ukraine can use fighter jets to launch invasive attacks in all areas of Russia barring Russian air defenses.
Last week, Biden announced he would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, despite top US officials saying the Ukranian military couldn’t maintain the battle tanks.
On Monday, January 30, while at the White House South Lawn, Biden was asked by a reporter whether he would send F16 jets to Ukraine.
“No,” Biden swiftly replied.
Biden also said he wasn’t sure whether he would visit Europe next month for the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine.
In response to a separate question, Biden said he was planning to visit Poland, but wasn’t sure when.
This comes as the White House explores the possibility of a Biden visit to Europe to mark 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine.
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said just las week Friday that Zelensky had asked for fighter jets. “We are constantly talking to the Ukrainians about their needs, and want to make sure that we’re doing the best we can to meet them — and if we can’t, that some of our allies and partners can,” Kirby said.