US authorities are discussing the transfer of fourth and fifth generation fighter jets to Ukraine, including as part of meeting Kiev’s long-term needs, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in an interview with the Washington Post.
“We continue to conduct these negotiations both within the American administration, <…> and with Ukraine. Some European countries are interested in providing these aircraft. And, as US President Joe Biden said earlier, this decision is up to them to make, ”she said. Nuland clarified that “we are talking about a changing picture” at the front, according to which Kyiv’s allies are considering what exactly the Armed Forces of Ukraine need.
Nuland also noted that on February 24, on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, Washington will announce another package of sanctions: new measures will affect Russian banks and Chinese companies, including those based in Europe. She clarified that we are talking about enterprises that help Moscow circumvent sanctions. All G7 countries will join the new restrictions.
In addition , the United States expects that Beijing will present a peace plan for Ukraine on the same day, and wants to get acquainted with it.
Nuland commented on President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). She noted that the United States is not going to build up its nuclear potential and does not see such opportunities in Russia. However, Washington wants to discuss with Moscow the further implementation of the treaty.
Earlier it was reported that the United States is considering the option of supplying Ukraine with “more advanced aviation” in the event of a “prolongation of the war.” It is also possible that Washington will allow other countries to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Kiev, the Financial Times wrote , citing sources among officials.
However, for now, the United States considers protecting the airspace of Ukraine and supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a sufficient number of artillery shells a priority. “At every stage of this journey, as needs evolved, so did what we provided to Ukraine,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Aid from the United States and other allies continues to evolve in line with the changing nature of war, he said .
Ukraine has stated that it will need about 200 fighter jets to protect the skies. US F-16 aircraft are a priority, as they can hit both ground and aerodynamic targets.
Source : The Moscow Times