US wants to enable fast transfer of F-16 jets to Ukraine

US wants to enable fast transfer of F-16 jets to Ukraine

2023-08-18 07:14:02

F-16 fighter jet

The US government wants to allow Denmark and the Netherlands to quickly transfer F-16 jets to Ukraine.

(Photo: Reuters)

Odessa The government in Kiev expects that Ukraine will be able to meet all the requirements for the start of the planned EU accession negotiations by October. Work continues on implementing the conditions of the EU Commission, said Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanischyna on Thursday in Kiev.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked Germany for additional air defense systems and announced an arms show for the armaments industry in the fall. The United States pledged to enable the rapid transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Stefanishyna said at a conference in the capital Kiev that Ukraine will have taken all agreed legislative and institutional steps for the start of EU accession negotiations by October. However, it would take years for these fundamental reforms to be fully implemented.

In October, the European Commission will decide whether to recommend EU leaders to start accession talks with Ukraine, which is under Russian attack. The EU officially made the country a candidate for membership last year.

Before the start of the actual accession negotiations, which do not guarantee membership, Ukraine must meet seven requirements set by the EU Commission. It is about the procedure for selecting Ukrainian constitutional judges and better fight against corruption – especially at high level. The EU is also demanding that standards in the fight against money laundering be observed and that a law against the excessive influence of oligarchs be implemented.

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Denmark and the Netherlands are to pass on F-16s quickly

In response to the presence of Russian Wagner mercenaries in Belarus, Lithuania has temporarily closed two of its six border crossings with the neighboring country. By decision of the government of the Baltic EU and NATO country, the two checkpoints Sumskas and Tverecius will be tight from Friday until further notice. According to the Ministry of the Interior, concrete blocks and rolls of barbed wire should be erected there. The other four border crossings to authoritarian Belarus should remain open.

This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:

Meanwhile, the US government announced that it would allow Denmark and the Netherlands to quickly transfer F-16 jets to Ukraine. The two countries have been given formal assurances that applications for approval will be expedited so that the fighter jets can be delivered to Kiev as soon as the training of the Ukrainian pilots and technicians has been completed, a US State Department spokesman confirmed to the German Press Agency in Washington .

The United States must approve the handover of the military jets to Ukraine because the machines are being built by the US company Lockheed Martin and have sensitive technology on board. That’s why Washington has a say in who gets trained.

Selenski welcomes ambassadors and announces a weapons show

After taking office in July, the new German Ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Jäger, presented President Selenski with his credentials. “We support Ukraine in its fight for freedom and independence,” Jäger wrote on Thursday on the online platform X, which was previously called Twitter.

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In his evening speech via Telegram, Selenski later thanked Germany for the recent delivery of additional launch devices for the Iris-T air defense system.

“It is a powerful and necessary anti-aircraft system. I thank Germany for helping to protect against Russian terrorism,” Zelensky said.

He also announced a “defense industry forum” in the fall. At the event, Ukrainian and foreign arms manufacturers will present their production. According to Zelenskyj, possibilities for new production facilities in Ukraine can also be explored.

What will be important on Friday

In the east and south of Ukraine, Kiev’s counter-offensive to liberate the areas occupied by Russia continues.

More: All developments in the Ukraine war in our news blog

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