The delivery of F-16s, which can change the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine, will begin as soon as possible.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a press conference following the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ukrinform reports.
“I welcome of course the decision by NATO Allies, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway to deliver F-16’s. I welcome the fact that training of F-16 pilots have already started and just a few weeks ago, a centre for training pilots also [was] established in Romania. I’m not able to give you an exact date, but I hope the delivery can start as soon as possible. The planes are there. But what needs to be done is to train the pilots and that's ongoing,” he said.
According to Stoltenberg, the centre has been established in Romania and the United States has also made it clear that NATO Allies are allowed to deliver F-16’s to Ukraine.
“It is important that of course F-16’s will make a difference. They will strengthen Ukraine's capacity to inflict losses on the Russian invading forces. And F-16’s will also help to further strengthen Ukraine's air defences,” he said.
At the same time, Stoltenberg said that “we need to now realise that there is not a silver bullet, not a single system that by itself will change fundamentally the situation on the battlefield”.
“This is a question of many different capabilities are working together at the same time that will push the Russians back. We have to be prepared for a long and hard fight,” he stressed.
As reported, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said that F-16 fighter jets can change the course of the war very seriously, as they will help push back Russian aircraft and cover Ukrainian ground troops from the air.