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OverseasYesterday, 09:404 The USA had not previously ruled out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with F-16s Zelensky arrived in Japan

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Photograph: AFP/SCAN

Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, said that the US policy regarding the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine has not changed and that the supply of F-16s has not been excluded before.

“Nothing has changed,” he said in Hiroshima, where the G7 summit continues on its second day. The US government is trying to downplay the impression that its decision to supply fighter jets to Ukraine is a political coup.

On Friday, Biden informed the leaders of the G7 nations in Hiroshima that the United States will support efforts to train Allied Ukrainian pilots to operate with fourth-generation warplanes, including the F-16.

After the start of the exercises, it will be decided when, how many and who will deliver fighter jets to Ukraine.

Biden and other US government officials have dismissed Kiev’s calls for F-16s for months, saying the fighters were unnecessary in Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against a Russian invasion.

Sullivan emphasized that decisions on arms shipments to Ukraine are always made according to what is necessary in the war, and the White House is always open to various possibilities.

As he said, now is the time to consider the need for Ukrainian forces to contain and repel Russian aggression in the long term.

In addition, Sullivan added that according to the US, F-16s are not immediately needed on the Ukrainian battlefield, so there is no need to start pilot training earlier. He once again emphasized that the “F-16” is necessary for the long-term strengthening of the Ukrainian forces.

Biden’s adviser also dismissed concerns that fighter jet deliveries could escalate the situation as they could be used to attack Russian soil. Sullivan emphasized that the purpose of all US arms deliveries to Ukraine is to strengthen its defense and that Ukraine has so far kept its promise not to attack Russian territory.

Sullivan also confirmed this.

During the G7 summit, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has recently toured Western countries to secure fighter jet deliveries. On Friday, Zelensky visited Saudi Arabia.

“The President looks forward to the opportunity for a face-to-face bilateral meeting,” he said.

Zelensky, in his tweet, described the US decision to allow the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine and provide pilot training as a historic decision, noting that he awaits an opportunity to discuss the practical implementation of the plan in Hiroshima.

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