Russia has warned NATO that they are “facing huge risks” if they supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine after the US has said they will allow allies to give them to Kyiv.
Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko warned the West will face “colossal risks” supplying the US made fighter jets in what will be a major boost for Ukraine.
Grushko said, “We see that Western countries are still adhering to the escalation scenario. It involves colossal risks for themselves.
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“In any case, this will be taken into account in all our plans, and we have all the necessary means to achieve the goals we have set.”
G7 leaders were told by the US President Joe Biden that they support their allies in training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s and President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this is a “historic” moment.
The Ukrainian defence minister, Oleksii Rezniko said that their pilots “are looking forward to starting their training.”
Rezniko wrote on Twitter, “They will now be able to support their brothers and sisters-in-arms on land and on sea to win this war.
“Looks like Santa Claus does exist.”
President Zelensky said, “We really have been working for a long time politically with our partners to get the desired outcome of the strengthening of our skies.
“Besides air, we are grateful for that. We are really grateful to the United States of America.”
However, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov raised questions as to whether Ukraine actually has the infrastructure and personnel to be able to operate the F-16s.
He wrote on the Russian embassy’s Telegram account, “Every specialist knows that there is no infrastructure for the use of F-16s in Ukraine, and the required number of pilots and maintenance personnel is not there either.
“What would happen if American fighters take off from NATO airfields, operated by foreign ‘volunteers’?”