America and Western allies’ plans to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and help train its pilots amid its ongoing war with Moscow carries “enormous risks,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister said.
“We can see that Western countries continue to stick to an escalation scenario, which carries enormous risks for them,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told the country’s state news agency TASS.
“In any case, we will take it into account when making plans,” he said. “We have all the necessary means to achieve our goals.”
Grushko’s warning came in response to President Joe Biden announcing Friday at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that the United States would back a joint international effort to supply Kyiv with American-made F-16s.
Biden said that the United States would train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16s, along with other aircraft.
Meanwhile, other NATO allies such as Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway could supply the actual planes to Kyiv.
The move was a notable shift by the Biden administration, which has repeatedly refused to send F-16s to Ukraine despite President Volodymyr Zelensky begging for the aircraft for more than a year.
It is unclear when exactly Ukraine will receive the fighter jets or which country will provide them, but a senior official in the Biden administration told NBC News that they will not be used in the upcoming counteroffensive.
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