The prime ministers of the UK and Denmark will meet with President Joe Biden this week in a joint push for further progress on supplying Ukraine with F-16 fighter aircraft.

Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, and the UK’s Rishi Sunak have been playing a central role in putting together the F-16 “Fighter Coalition. 

They were among almost 50 European leaders who met in Moldova last week for a meeting of the European Political Community where, among a number of security-related discussions, the provision of F-16s was discussed by coalition members with the Ukrainian President. 

The F-16 coalition currently consists of the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the US and Portugal. Denmark is open to the possibility of providing Ukraine with some of the dozens of American-made F-16s it has purchased since the 1970s and Frederiksen is encouraging the other members to follow her lead.

Advertisement

After months of calls from Ukrainian President Zelensky for the fighters, President Biden finally endorsed the plan for the coalition at the G-7 meeting in Japan on May 19.

The US President will meet Frederiksen on Monday, June 5, and the UK’s Rishi Sunak on Thursday, June 8, at what many see as a critical period for the war in Ukraine as the build-up to its counteroffensive seems to be near its peak.

 “One of the things we’ll be looking for their perspectives on and the president will be interested in sharing his perspectives on, is the long-term security needs of Ukraine,” White House national security council spokesman John Kirby said. “And that’s really where the F-16s kind of come into this discussion.”

Ukrainian Special Ops Say They Destroyed Russian Hyacinth-S Self-Propelled Gun Using HIMARS
Other Topics of Interest

Ukrainian Special Ops Say They Destroyed Russian Hyacinth-S Self-Propelled Gun Using HIMARS

The Russian self-propelled gun was discovered by the 73rd Maritime Center of the SSO during reconnaissance operations in the southern front line.

Frederiksen, despite becoming the youngest-ever Danish prime minister four years ago, was little known outside her own country prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion. Since then, she and Rishi Sunak have become strong advocates for European support to Kyiv, have visited Ukraine several times since the war began and have given significant financial and military aid to Ukraine.

Advertisement

She has also taken huge steps forward in improving Denmark’s reputation in terms of defense spending with planned investments over the next 10 years. These measures will not only ensure that 2 percent of the country’s GDP is spent on military preparedness, per NATO’s request, but will also go further to strengthen Denmark’s posture both within the Alliance and beyond.

The expansion in Frederiksen’s international profile is such that, she is seriously being considered as a candidate to replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO Secretary-General, when he leaves after 12 years in the post at the end of this year. Some commentators are suggesting that this week’s visit to Washington may serve as an audition to gain US endorsement if she puts herself forward to become the first female to fill the post.

In the meantime, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said in an interview with the Japanese media channel, NHK at a security forum in Singapore, that F-16 fighter aircraft would not figure in the widely anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces this summer. He indicated that they would, however, be essential in supporting Ukraine’s longer-term security needs from winter 2023 and beyond.

Advertisement

Reznikov said they [F-16 fighters] “will not be game changing this summer.” He said it will take time to train Ukrainian pilots, recruit and train the engineers and technicians needed to maintain and repair the sophisticated jets.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (3)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Ben
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Train mechanics, get spare parts, prep runways, learn all the procedures for operation. What will the F-16s be used for to start? Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground? Recon? F-16 can do nearly everything.

I support this. American. Biden has been too slow in the preparations.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Ben
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

F-16s Logistics

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
I support
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Yup its a long term plan many things use be done.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png