Stoltenberg: Ukraine will be able to strike military targets in Russia with F-16s, but there is a nuance

Ukraine will have the right to strike Russian military targets with F-16s

Ukraine will have the right to launch strikes using American F-16 fighters against Russian military targets outside Ukraine. We are talking about the occupiers' targets on the territory of the Russian aggressor country.

This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with Radio Liberty published on Wednesday, January 21. He noted that, according to international law, Ukraine has the right to self-defense.

However, the allies have different opinions on strikes on Russian territory. It is possible that each country that will provide Kyiv with fighter jets will discuss this issue bilaterally with Ukraine.

"Different allies have slightly different policies on this. But in general, this is Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine in flagrant violation of international law. And under international law, Ukraine has the right to self-defense. And this also includes striking legitimate military targets - Russian military targets outside of Ukraine. This is international law," Stoltenberg said.

As for the timing of Ukraine's receipt of the F-16, the allies will listen to experts to determine the readiness of the aircraft for delivery, as well as the level of training of Ukrainian pilots and infrastructure in Ukraine.

"It is impossible to say exactly when, because it is a dilemma. We all want the F-16s to be there (in Ukraine - Ed.) as soon as possible. At the same time, of course, the effect of the F-16 will be stronger and better the more trained and prepared the pilots are. And not only pilots, but also maintenance, personnel and all the support systems that should be available," added the NATO Secretary General.

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