NATO director says that deployment of F-16s over Russian region ‘not escalation’

(MENAFN) Ahead of a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that Ukrainian military operations using F-16 fighter jets over Russian territory, if implemented, would not constitute an escalation of the conflict nor would they implicate NATO member states as direct parties to the ongoing crisis.

Stoltenberg clarified that several European nations are prepared to supply Ukraine with F-16 aircraft once the necessary pilots and ground infrastructure are in place. He noted the diverse policies among NATO allies regarding the use of their military equipment, welcoming recent relaxations of restrictions by some member states.

The NATO Secretary General highlighted that Washington has approved Ukrainian use of American weapons beyond Ukrainian borders, allowing strikes in Russia’s Belgorod Region in support of operations in neighboring Kharkov Region. Other NATO countries have similarly adjusted their policies to permit such military actions.

Asserting Ukraine’s right to self-defense, Stoltenberg defended the legitimacy of striking what he termed as "legitimate military targets" within Russian territory. He underscored that NATO’s support for Ukraine’s defensive actions does not equate to direct involvement in the conflict.

However, Stoltenberg’s statements come amidst escalating tensions and differing perceptions between NATO and Russia. Moscow views NATO’s increasing military presence in Ukraine and its assistance to Kiev’s military operations as elements of a broader proxy war orchestrated by the United States against Russia. Russian officials have accused NATO member states of effectively participating in hostilities by supplying arms, deploying personnel, and aiding in tactical planning against Russian forces.

As geopolitical maneuvering continues and military actions intensify, Stoltenberg’s assertions reflect NATO’s stance on supporting Ukraine’s defense while attempting to navigate the complexities of international law and security implications in the region.



Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.