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NATO state to donate F-16s to Ukraine

During the meeting of the US-led military bloc in Washington, Norway promised to provide six fighter jets to Kiev   

Norway has pledged to donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as the leaders of NATO countries are gathered in Washington for the bloc’s 75th summit, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the Norwegian government.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store reportedly stated that delivery of the jets will start as soon as this year. 

Last August, Store said during a visit to Kiev that Ukraine would receive Norwegian F-16 fighters, although he did not provide any details on the number of aircraft or timing of their delivery.

The US, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Netherlands have pledged to provide the Ukrainian military with upwards of 60 F-16 fighter jets by the end of the current year. Several members of the US-led military bloc have also vowed to provide training to Ukrainian pilots.

Last month, Vladimir Zelensky’s most senior adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, said that Ukraine needed at least 60 Western fighter jets to hold back Russian advances. Officials in Kiev are hoping that the advanced jets can help counter Russia’s overwhelming air superiority across the front.


READ MORE: Lavrov warns of nuclear threat posed by Western F-16s

The Russian government has treated the promised deliveries as escalatory and a potential nuclear risk, warning that F-16s are capable of deploying American B61 nuclear gravity bombs. Some of those weapons are kept in Europe as part of NATO’s nuclear-sharing program.

 

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