Ukraine will not receive modern Western fighters until its counteroffensive is completed, Rob Bauer, head of the NATO Military Committee, has said.
Source: Bauer in an interview with radio station LBC, as reported by European Pravda
Bauer noted that the issue of transferring fighters to Ukraine "will not be solved in the short term."
Quote: "The discussion on the fighters is an important one, but it will not be solved in the short term for this counteroffensive. Training those pilots, training the technicians, making sure there is a logistic organisation that can actually sustain these aircraft will not be available before this counteroffensive," the official said.
According to him, it is "important and understandable" that Ukraine is asking for Western fighters, but "we should not mix it with the counteroffensive discussion now."
When asked if he thought Ukraine could win the war against Russia without fighter jets, Bauer added: "I think Ukraine is in an advantage because it has the western weapon systems, it has the better training, and it has, very importantly, the much higher morale and motivation."
Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said that "one country" had promised Ukraine to start training Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets last month, but due to an error in calculations, this did not happen.
The issue of providing Ukraine with F-16 fighters was discussed at a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in June.
After this meeting, it was revealed that by July, Ukraine's partners plan to approve a training programme for Ukrainian pilots, engineers and technicians on F-16 fighters, with the training taking place at a specially created centre in one of the European countries.
According to Politico, the supply of Western F-16 fighters to Ukraine may take place in early 2024.