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Bipartisan group of US lawmakers pressures Biden on fighter jets for Ukraine

Friday, 17 February 2023, 17:37

Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives, members of the Republican and Democratic parties, are pressuring President Joe Biden to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Source: Politico, referring to a letter from the lawmakers to Biden, reports European Pravda

Details: The officials state that the modern jets, which Kyiv has sought, but Biden’s administration has so far not agreed to, "could prove decisive for control of Ukrainian airspace this year".

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"The provision of such aircraft is necessary to help Ukraine protect its airspace, particularly in light of renewed Russian offensives and considering the expected increase in large-scale combat operations," the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was organised by Maine Democrat Jared Golden. Also signing on were Democrats Jason Crow of Colorado and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Republicans Tony Gonzales of Texas and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.

The lawmakers argue that fighter jets, either Lockheed Martin-manufactured F-16 or similar, would give Ukrainian troops more capabilities than ground-based artillery provided by the U.S. and other nations.

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"F-16s or similar fourth generation fighter aircraft would provide Ukraine with a highly mobile platform from which to target Russian air-to-air missiles and drones, to protect Ukrainian ground forces as they engage Russian troops, as well as to engage Russian fighters for contested air superiority," they argued.

Background: 

In late January, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the United States had no plans to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. 

The White House later said that the United States is already providing Ukraine with significant military assistance and is focused on Kyiv's needs and the situation on the battlefield.

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