F-16s for Ukraine: it became known who put pressure on Biden

Olga GanyukovaPolitics
Blinken was the main force behind

After months of persistent US claims that Ukraine does not need F-16s to fight a war with Russia, Washington finally relented, agreeing not to prevent allied countries from sending Kyiv the modern Western fighter jets it has long wanted. The most influential supporter of the aircraft transfer was US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

It was he who pressured US President Joe Biden. This was reported by The Washington Post, citing information from its sources.

For more than a year, Kyiv has been calling on Western countries to provide Ukraine with modern F-16 fighter jets. But the Biden administration, with more than 1,000 aircraft in the US arsenal and at least as many sold to allies and partners around the world, has repeatedly said no. The United States reserves the right to veto the transfer of aircraft to third countries by other countries.

Suddenly, President Biden said yes. European allies that have F-16s in their arsenals, some of which have indicated that they might be willing to supply them, have been given the go-ahead by the administration to send the planes as soon as supplies and logistics are coordinated and Ukrainian pilots and mechanics can be trained to use them.

The turnaround, according to U.S., European and Ukrainian officials, is the result of sustained pressure from allies, Congress and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

US officials said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the main force in the administration pushing for the allies to be allowed to transfer the aircraft and actively worked with various countries within NATO to move the policy forward.

Blinken played a similar role when NATO was deadlocked over whether to supply Ukraine with modern tanks. At the time, Germany was hesitant to approve the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks. The situation changed when Blinken pushed the White House to approve the transfer of M1 Abrams tanks, despite the Pentagon's reluctance.


- The White House has confirmed that the US and its allies plan to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. However, the timing of when Kyiv will receive the planes, how many and which countries will provide them remain unclear.

- Ukraine is asking the West for multi-role fighters because of their versatility. Analysts explained the role F-16s could play in the war with Russia.

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