Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Jake Sullivan noted that Washington, while providing military assistance to Kiev, is trying to avoid the outbreak of World War IIIHIROSHIMA /Japan/, May 20.
/tass/. US President Joe Biden supports multilateral efforts to train pilots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to use F-16 and other fighters in combat. This was stated on Saturday by the assistant to the President of the United States for national Security Jake Sullivan.
"President Biden informed his colleagues in the Group of Seven that the United States will support joint efforts to train Ukrainian pilots to use fourth-generation fighter jets, including the F-16. Over the past few months, we, our allies and partners have really focused on providing Ukraine with weapons systems and training that it needs to conduct effective offensive operations in the spring and summer of this year," he said at a briefing for journalists in Hiroshima, where the G7 summit is taking place.
According to the adviser to the head of state, the United States "did what they promised and gave Ukraine what it needs on the basis of close consultations" between the Defense Ministries of the two countries.
Sullivan noted that the United States will discuss with its allies in the coming months which countries will supply military aircraft to Ukraine. "Now we have started discussing the issue of improving the Ukrainian Air Force, which is part of our commitment to support Ukraine's self-defense in the long term. As training will be conducted in the coming months (Ukrainian pilots - approx. TASS), we will work with our allies to determine when the planes will be delivered, by whom they will be delivered and in what quantity," he said.
Journalists asked Sullivan what guarantees Ukraine had given to the United States that it would not use F-16 fighter jets, which are planned to be delivered to Kiev, to conduct operations over Russian territory. "All military assets that the United States provides to Ukraine are supplied taking into account the basic requirement that the United States will not facilitate or support strikes on Russian territory, which will also concern support for the provision of F-16s by any party. And Ukraine has consistently stated that it is ready to follow these [requirements]," Sullivan said.
The assistant to the US president explained that the Kiev authorities do not need American F-16 fighters now, they are not needed for the allegedly impending counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, she will need this equipment in the future. "In our opinion, right now the time has not yet come for the F-16 on the battlefield," he said, answering a question about why the American authorities did not begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly on the F-16 a few months ago. "We believe that we will be able to give them what they [Ukrainians] will need in the future."
At the same time, Sullivan acknowledged, the number of Soviet-designed fighters that some European countries handed over to the Kiev authorities is decreasing, which, among other things, inclines Washington to allow the supply of F-16s to Kiev.
He added that the United States, while providing military assistance to Ukraine, is trying to avoid the outbreak of World War III. "The basic attitude of the President [US Joe Biden] is that we intend to do everything possible to support Ukraine, which protects its sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we also intend to act in such a way as to avoid a third world war," he said.
CNN TV channel, citing sources, reported that the Biden administration intends to allow the allies to transfer F-16 fighters to Kiev. According to them, the White House is signaling to European allies that it is not going to block the supply of F-16s, as it is constantly under pressure from Congress and other countries. At the same time, the staff of the American administration does not know anything about official requests for the export of aircraft, and State Department officials have not yet received orders on the preparation of documents for their transfer.
The American TV channel NBC also informed on May 19 that the United States and its allies plan to supply F-16 fighters to Ukraine, while the planes may come from Washington's allies.