Ukraine has welcomed the US government's approval to transfer F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands and Denmark to the war-torn nation, giving a fresh impetus to Kyiv in the ongoing war against Russia.
Welcoming the US decision, Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote on X: "Great news from our friends in the United States! There is a green light for the Netherlands and Denmark to deliver F-16s to Ukraine after our pilots complete their training."
"Ukraine has proven that the impossible is indeed possible. Our military has proven it is filled with fast learners. We will soon prove that Ukraine’s victory is inevitable. Thank you to all our partners and friends in the United States, the Netherlands, and Denmark," the Minister said.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra earlier confirmed the development and posted on X: "We welcome Washington's decision to pave the way for sending #F16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine. Many thanks to @SecBlinken for the good and swift cooperation. Now, we will further discuss the subject with our European partners."
He said the move marks a major milestone for Ukraine to defend its people and country.
In May, a senior Russian minister had said providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets would be a “colossal risk” for western nations,
According to Russia’s state-owned news agency Tass, as quoted by The Guardian, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko, had said: “We see that western countries are still adhering to the escalation scenario. It involves colossal risks for themselves."
Arms and ammunition transfers to Ukraine have increased rapidly in recent months, alongside concerning reports of deliveries of banned cluster munitions, the UN’s top disarmament official told the Security Council on Thursday.
“The influx of weapons and ammunition into any armed conflict can contribute to the escalation and presents significant risks of diversion and proliferation even after the conflict has ended,” Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, told the Council, briefing on the latest developments in the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Information through open sources on governments’ recent arms transfers to Kyiv include such heavy weaponry as battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, combat aircrafts, helicopters, large-calibre artillery systems, missile systems and uncrewed combat aerial vehicles.
Also included in the stockpile are remotely operated munitions, small arms and light weapons, and their ammunition, she said.
Since her June briefing, she said reports show that some nations are transferring or planning to transfer weapons, including uncrewed combat aerial vehicles and ammunition, to Russian armed forces for use in Ukraine.
From 24 February 2022 to 13 August this year, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 26,384 civilian casualties in Ukraine, with 9,444 killed and 16,940 injured. The actual figures are likely to be “considerably higher” she said.