Norway plans on donating F-16 to Ukraine

(MENAFN) Norway has announced its intention to donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, as reported by Reuters on Wednesday, citing statements from the Norwegian government. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre conveyed this commitment during discussions with NATO leaders convened in Washington for the alliance's 75th summit, outlining plans for the jets' delivery to commence later this year.

The decision builds on a previous announcement made by Støre last August during a visit to Kiev, where he pledged Norwegian support with F-16 fighters. While specific details such as the exact number of aircraft and the timeline for delivery were not initially disclosed, Norway's commitment underscores its bolstered support for Ukraine amidst ongoing conflicts with Russia.

Joining Norway in this effort, several NATO members, including the United States, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands, have collectively pledged to provide upwards of 60 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by the end of the current year. Additionally, NATO allies have committed to offering training programs aimed at enhancing Ukrainian pilots' capabilities.

Recent statements from Mikhail Podoliak, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, underscore the strategic importance of these fighter jets in countering Russia's dominant air presence. Podoliak highlighted Ukraine's urgent need for at least 60 Western fighter jets to effectively defend against Russian advancements on various fronts.

Meanwhile, Russian officials have responded critically to the promised fighter jet deliveries, characterizing them as escalatory measures that could heighten nuclear risks. Russia has specifically raised concerns about the potential deployment of American B61 nuclear gravity bombs with F-16s, which are part of NATO's nuclear-sharing arrangement in Europe.

The Norwegian initiative to donate F-16s to Ukraine reflects broader efforts within NATO to support Ukraine's defense capabilities amidst ongoing tensions in the region. This move is set against a backdrop of heightened geopolitical tensions and strategic maneuvers in Eastern Europe, shaping the dynamics of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.



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