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Biden rules out sending fighter jets to Ukraine for the moment: “Now he doesn’t need them”

US President Joe Biden has ruled out supplying Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets for the time being. “He doesn’t need them now,” the president said in an interview with the ABC News television network, despite the insistence of the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, who has been demanding these modern aircraft for weeks as the next step in Western military aid. to expel Russian troops from the territory of his country.

“There are no grounds on which it is considered reasonable, according to our military at this time, to supply F-16s (to Ukraine),” Biden said in the interview. Asked by the interviewer, David Muir, if that refusal was permanent, Biden replied: “I rule it out for now.” And he explains that the US is “sending what our military, which has a lot of experience, thinks Zelensky needs. You need tanks, artillery, air defense, including other (anti-aircraft missiles) HIMARS.” “There are things you need now that we are supplying you to put (Ukrainian troops) in a position to be able to make progress this spring and summer ahead of fall,” the president extends.

For weeks now, Zelensky has been asking the West to send modern fighter jets to repel the Russians, although no capital has yet shown itself willing to send them. The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, considers the demand “legitimate” and asks to “study it”, while the Polish government has shown itself willing, like that of the United Kingdom, to train pilots. But that training takes months, and for now, according to Western capitals, it is more urgent to strengthen Ukraine’s ground forces and its air defense systems, as well as extend the range of its artillery to damage Russian supply lines in the rear.

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This Friday, the US Department of Defense announced the shipment of a new military aid package to Kiev worth 2,000 million dollars (1,900 million euros) that includes HIMARS missiles, artillery ammunition and drones. In addition, the Biden administration announced a myriad of new economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russian citizens and companies. All these measures put the finishing touch to a week that began with a surprise visit by Biden himself to kyiv, where he met with Zelensky to express his unwavering support for him. (Agencies)

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