Germany Can Serve as Hub for Ukraine Fighter Coalition

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russia special military operation, special op, ukrainian crisis, f-16

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany can become a hub of the international coalition for providing Ukraine with US-made F-16 fighter jets and even provide training to Ukrainian pilots but it will not provide the aircraft, Bundestag Defense Committee chairwoman Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said on Friday.

“We have never had the F-16 in our portfolio, but we can provide airports in Germany as a hub or offer basic training for pilots who have only flown the MiG [jets] to date. The actual training on F-16ы must be provided by the countries which themselves use these aircraft,” Strack-Zimmermann told German newspaper.

The senior German lawmaker also said that Ukraine could not become a NATO member so long as it was involved in active armed conflict.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons flying in formation. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.05.2023

Why Does Ukraine Want F-16s?

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a European Political Community press conference in Kishinev that there were numerous countries standing prepared to provide Ukraine with F-16s, the fighter jet of its choice.

Following the United States’ go-ahead to its European allies to provide Ukraine with F-16s last month, an international coalition started to form to help Kiev obtain and use the aircraft, including by providing training to Ukrainian pilots. Top German officials have on several occasions said that the country would not be providing the fighter jets but can contribute to the coalition in other ways.

Russia has slammed the possible deliveries of F-16s to Ukraine and warned that the jets will become a legitimate target for Russian forces. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that the supply of F-16 fighters to Ukraine would become another escalation as the jets have one modification that is nuclear-capable.





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