NATO says training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets does not make it party to conflict

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

Training Ukrainian pilots on Western F-16 fighter jets does not make NATO a party to the conflict, its chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, as allies pledged to speed up preparations to start lessons.

Stoltenberg said Ukraine had the right to defend itself.

“We help Ukraine to uphold that right,” he told reporters in Brussels. “That doesn’t make NATO and NATO allies a party to the conflict.”

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

On Monday, senior Russian diplomats on Monday said the transfer of F-16 jets to Ukraine would raise the question of NATO’s role in the conflict.

US President Joe Biden on Friday endorsed training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured Biden that the planes would not be used to cross into Russian territory.

“This is an important step that apparently will enable us to then deliver fighter jets at some stage,” said Stoltenberg, who described the move as “a very clear signal that we are there for the long term and that Russia cannot wait us out.”

A fighter jet coalition of nations was meanwhile hammering out the concrete timeline for starting the training.

“We will speed up now that we have the green light, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels.

She said the training were a coordinated effort by Belgium, Denmark, Britain, the Netherlands and other allies, and that more countries could join.

Germany said it was looking into ways to support the fighter jet coalition.

“We are looking into the few options that we may theoretically have,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said.

“But it won’t be significant as we simply don’t have F-16 fighter jets on our own and are unlikely to be able to help a lot in the pilot training.”

Read more:

Russia: Cross-border attack has been crushed, over 70 Ukrainian nationalists killed

Wagner forces to leave Bakhmut by June 1,hand over control to Russian army: Founder

‘Counter-terrorism operation’ in Russia’s Belgorod region continues: Governor

Top Content Trending