(CNN) — Ukraine’s chief of staff, Gen. Valeriy Zalogny, said Monday that he spoke to his American counterpart, Gen. Mark Milley, and reiterated Ukraine’s need to bolster its air defenses by acquiring F-16 fighter jets.
The United States has repeatedly stated that it does not plan to send these fighters to Ukraine.
Zaluzhny added that the call touched on defense plans for Ukraine, as well as the importance of providing military equipment, weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian army because “every shell received means preserving the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and peaceful civilians, and we are staying there because of the support of our partners and we will definitely win.”
It is noteworthy that US President Joe Biden said, on Friday, in an interview with the ABC network, that Ukraine “does not need F-16 planes now,” and stated: “We are sending him what our army thinks it needs now, it needs tanks, it needs artillery, He needs air defense systems, there are things he needs now, we’re sending him in to put them in a position to make gains this spring and this summer going into the fall.”
“There is no rationale, according to our military now, for providing those aircraft,” he stressed, adding: “I rule it out, for the time being.”
Earlier, US representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties sent a letter to the US president, asking his administration to send F-16 fighters to Ukraine.
In the letter, the deputies said they are asking the Biden administration to provide Ukraine with the fighter it has requested, or to send similar aircraft “as soon as possible.” expected in large-scale combat operations.
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