USA: Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, stated on Monday that American F-16 fighter jets should not be sent to Ukraine. He previously made it clear that Washington has no intention of sending its warplanes to Kiev in the midst of its conflict with Moscow.
Biden was questioned about his opposition to the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine while speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. "Since they ought to remain here, I say. That's a completely different scenario," he retorted without going into further detail.
His comments follow the US's decision last month to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, as well as the decisions of some of Washington's allies to send more contemporary battle tanks. But at about the same time, Biden rejected the notion of dispatching F-16s to Kiev.
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However, his denial leaves open the possibility that Washington might sanction the re-export of the warplanes from other nations. A senior executive from Lockheed Martin, the company that makes the F-16, stated last month in an interview with the Financial Times that there is "a lot of conversation about third party transfer of F-16s" to Ukraine.
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Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak was questioned about whether Warsaw would transfer its F-16 aircraft to Ukraine in an interview on Monday. "We have too few of them, only 48," he retorted. Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, previously stated that he is open to receiving warplane deliveries, but only if this is a "decision of the entire NATO."
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Russia has repeatedly urged the West to refrain from arming Ukraine, claiming that doing so will only make the conflict worse. Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the Kremlin, stated last week that Russia "would double down on using its existing potential to respond" in response to Kiev receiving new arms shipments.