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.

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.”

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Western analysts suggest the Kremlin is having some difficulties in getting coherent messaging out after a day of contradictory and unclear statements from Russian officials.

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.

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.

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.

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Comments (4)
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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.
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F-16s Logistics
I support
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Yup its a long term plan many things use be done.
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There's still insufficient air defense to protect Ukraine. As usual the Biden administration along with US allies are lagging behind in supplying sufficient military aid. Many more Patriot air defense systems are needed along with a sufficient number of F-16 Fighter jets, attack helicopters, and long-range precision missiles to strike strategic military sites within the heartland of Russia (not apartment buildings). Air superiority is what wins wars; not boots on the ground. Because of Biden's fear of an escalation, Biden and the rest of Europe have withheld necessary weapons from Ukraine thereby prolonging the war and allowing hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. If Ukraine would have had what they needed from the start and what Zelensky had asked for on day one, instead of talking about the spring counteroffensive coming up, we would be talking about how the rebuilding of Ukraine is going and who replaced Putin.

This idiotic Biden idea that the whole war must be fought within Ukraine is just plain stupid. Russia started this war. Why shouldn't the war extend into Russia? It's still because of Biden's fear of an escalation. Give me a break! How many more lives must be lost?

The first time Jesus came to Earth, He came as a sacrificial lamb. When He comes again, He'll come as a Lion of conquest.

The Lamb on the Cross Becomes the Lion of Wrath