"There is no schedule": Zelenskyy blames partners for delaying training of Ukrainians on F-16
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticised the allies for delaying the start of training Ukrainian pilots on US F-16 fighter jets. According to him, a schedule of training missions has not yet been created.
Zelenskyy said this at a briefing following a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on 1 July in Kyiv. In particular, the President noted that he did not know the reason for the delay in the start of training.
"We have agreed, we have pressed that we have a coalition of countries that are ready to start training for Ukrainian pilots. There is no schedule for training missions. I believe that some partners are delaying this. I do not know why they are doing this," he said.
The day before, the head of state said that when Ukrainian pilots start flying F-16s, freedom will become insurmountable, and "there will be no chance for the terrorist state in our skies".
For his part, the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, said he believes that Ukraine will receive F-16s by the end of the year.
"I believe that we can get the first fighter jets by the end of this year," he said during a meeting with journalists and added that almost all the countries of the Aviation Coalition are ready to supply Ukraine with F-16s.
As you know, the "aviation coalition" is led by the Netherlands and Denmark. Both countries have promised to start training Ukrainian pilots. At the same time, the consent of the United States as the country of origin is required.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- On 26 June, Denmark announced the start of training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. In addition, they decided to switch to new F-35 fighters two years earlier, by 2025.
- According to Politico, Ukraine may receive the first F-16s in early 2024, but the timing of the delivery remains unclear.
- Earlier, Zelenskyy said that before the NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukraine seeks to show results on the battlefield, but the price of each kilometre liberated is measured in the lives of our military.