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US "no" on aircraft supply should be viewed as temporary refusal - Reznikov

Ukraine has gone through such stages of refusal with various types of Western weapons.

US "no" on aircraft supply should be viewed as temporary refusal - Reznikov
Photo: EPA/UPG

The United States' "no" on the supply of aircraft to Ukraine should be understood as a refusal only for this period of time, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said at a briefing after a meeting with French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu in Paris on 31 January.

Ukraine has gone through such "stages of refusal" with all types of Western weapons that it has received.

"All types of assistance went through a 'no' stage at the beginning. This means 'no' as of today. This was the case with HIMARS, this was the case with 155-mm artillery, with the same Bradleys. The German Leopard was also a 'no' at first, and now we have a tank coalition. That is why I believe in the next 'aircraft coalition'," Reznikov said.

According to him, the ministers discussed Ukraine's needs for air platforms with a focus on air defence.

"Any aircraft is a platform from which one or another type of weapon can be used, so we did not talk about a specific name of the aircraft. We talked about the fact that tactical aviation is also an element of air defence. We discussed and agreed that we would study this issue together with our partners, which could be a platform for improving our capabilities," Reznikov said.

According to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine is currently negotiating with its allies the supply of jet aircraft and missiles with a range of 300 km.

In response to journalists' questions, US President Joe Biden said that his country would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

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