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Biden live updates: President welcomes Nato leaders as Democrats pile on pressure



Biden live updates: President welcomes Nato leaders as Democrats pile on pressure

Zelensky thanks allies for transfer of F-16 jetspublished at 15:54

Polish Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly in formation during the Clear Sky 2018 multinationalImage source, Reuters

Let’s circle back to the earlier announcement that F-16 fighter jets are being sent to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked the US, Denmark and the Netherlands for sending his country’s air force the jets.

In a post on X, he thanked the country for taking “practical steps” to strengthen Ukraine’s air force, as well as to Belgium and Norway for committing to transferring the jets.

“This is a clear signal that Russia’s ability to terrorise Ukrainian people, cities, and communities will continue to reduce,” he wrote.

Earlier at the Nato summit in Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the transfer of F-16s from the US, Denmark and Netherlands was “under way”.

“Those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression,” he said.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that his country “has now decided to donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

“We plan to start delivering the aircraft in the course of 2024,” he added.

In May, Belgium pledged to send 30 F-16s to Ukraine by 2028, with the first batch of aircraft arriving this year.

Zelensky has long been pushing for deliveries of US-made F-16s to help Ukraine defend its skies against deadly Russian missile and drone attacks.

In August, US President Joe Biden last August gave the green light for F-16s transfers – despite concerns the move would lead to an escalation with a nuclear-armed Russia.

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