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"F-16s are on their way to Ukraine": Blinken says when they will be on combat duty

According to Blinken, the planes will be in Ukraine this summer

Talks about providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets have been going on for over a year, but the ice has finally broken and the verb "to transfer" has moved from the future tense to the present, i.e., it has become a reality. Denmark and the Netherlands have begun the process of handing over the first F-16s to Ukraine. The fighters are already on their way to our country.

This was stated by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the NATO summit in Washington. According to him, the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine is underway right now.

"As we speak, F-16s are being transferred from Denmark, from the Netherlands, and these planes will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer," he assured.

According to the US Secretary of State, the planes are being transferred to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.

A joint statement by U.S. President Joe Biden, Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also said that "the process of transferring these F-16s is underway," and Ukraine will begin using these fighters this summer.

As a reminder, the Netherlands promised the first batch of 24 F-16s, while Denmark said it would send 19 planes. Belgium and Norway have also promised to provide Ukraine with F-16s, and their fighters will arrive later. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at the NATO summit in Washington that his country would provide Kyiv with six F-16 fighters. The transfer will take place this year.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted to the start of the delivery of much-needed aircraft to Ukraine. He thanked the United States, Denmark, and the Netherlands for achieving the goal of all Ukrainians – strengthening the Ukrainian Air Force.

"This is a clear signal that Russia's ability to terrorize the Ukrainian people, cities, and communities will continue to decline. F-16s will also be used to strengthen Ukraine's air defense," the President said.

The President also expressed confidence that the U.S. fighter jets will help protect Ukrainians from Russian terrorist attacks, such as the latest deadly attack on Okhmatdyt.

"I am confident that they will help us better protect Ukrainians from brutal Russian attacks, such as the attack on the Okhmatdyt children's hospital in Kyiv this week," Zelenskyy emphasized.

According to him, F-16s will help bring a just and lasting peace closer and demonstrate that "terror must be defeated everywhere and always."

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