The Russian authorities says it will likely be compelled to take retaliatory measures if Western-made F-16 fighter jets seem within the skies over Ukraine.
The risk was aired by Moscow’s International Minister Sergey Lavrov throughout an interview with the RT tv channel late final week.
In line with Lavrov, Russia has issued a “very severe demarche” with regard to the opportunity of F-16 plane being transferred to Kyiv.
He additionally claimed that the fighter jets can be utilized by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to hold nuclear weapons and assault Russian forces.
“Now there’s discuss F-16 plane, which, certainly, might be outfitted to hold nuclear weapons. We’ve mentioned that publicly,” Lavrov mentioned.
“After all … a military-technical response will comply with.”
Requires Fighter Jets
For the reason that starting of the invasion in February 2022, Ukrainian authorities have been pleading for fighter jets from worldwide allies to offer tactical air help to the frontline.
President Volodymyr Zelensky even acknowledged that delays in sending fight plane like F-16s may lengthen the warfare and end in extra injury.
Poland and Slovakia had already pledged warplanes to Kyiv “to guard civilians towards the numerous bombs that fall on their homes.”
#Slovakia will ship MiG-29 fighter jets to #Ukraine
Jets will defend Ukrainian sky & important infrastructure which is being intentionally destroyed by #Russia. 🇸🇰 will even provide a part of KUB air-defence system.#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/6wYucr7yTh
— Slovakia MFA 🇸🇰 | #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 (@SlovakiaMFA) March 17, 2023
However US President Joe Biden mentioned earlier this 12 months that he is not going to ship the requested F-16 fighters to assist Ukraine in its warfare towards Russia.
US State Division spokesman Ned Worth additionally advised reporters that ground-based protection techniques are far simpler in hitting again at Russia’s “formidable” air drive.
“We are going to proceed to offer our Ukrainian companions with the surface-to-air techniques that they should tackle the risk that they face from Russian missiles, from Russian rockets, from artillery,” he mentioned.
Lockheed on Standby
Regardless of having no assurance that F-16s can be despatched to Ukraine, American protection large Lockheed Martin mentioned it stands prepared to assist if the US reverses its earlier choice.
The corporate may practice Ukrainian pilots to fly and keep the plane, based on chief working officer Frank St John.
“We’re standing by, able to not solely backfill want because it arises with new F-16 builds but additionally any modifications to F-16s in addition to coaching, gear, and techniques.”