Biden received an “assurance” from Zelenskyi that Ukraine will not use the F-16 on Russian territory

Kostia Andreikovets

US President Joe Biden, after meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyi, said that he received "clear assurances" from him that Ukraine will not use F-16 fighter jets on Russian territory when it receives them. At the same time, according to Biden, they can be used wherever there are Russian troops "within the borders" of Ukraine.

He said this at the end of the G7 summit in Hiroshima.

Biden confirmed that the United States will begin training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters in the near future.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy separately expressed confidence that Ukraine will receive F-16s from Western allies.

"We really worked long and hard with our partners to get the desired result... Today, the training mission is open to us. This is the first step. Then there is the appropriate number of months to train our pilots. We will work to ensure that these people are as experienced as possible in order to shorten the training process," Zelenskyy said.

The president added that there is already an understanding of which countries can provide F-16s.

  • On May 16, Britain announced the start of an international coalition of countries that will train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation Western fighters, including the F-16. The coalition included the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Portugal. Pilot training will begin in the coming months.
  • Britain plans to adapt the program, which trains pilots of the Royal Armed Forces, for pilots from Ukraine. The American report says that two Ukrainian aces on F-16 simulators exceeded the expectations of the United States. There, they believe that they will be able to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16 in 4 months, instead of 18, as previously planned.
  • On May 20, the White House confirmed that in the following months, the United States and its allies will discuss when and in what quantity Ukraine will receive fighter jets. The US agreed to the transfer of F-16s to Ukraine.
  • The adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense Yuri Sak said that Ukraine wants to get 40 to 50 F-16 fighters to form three or four squadrons. There are 12 planes in one squadron.