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F-16's to Kyiv would raise NATO question — Russia

Update : 22 May 2023, 11:07

Russia's envoy to the US said that providing F-16 jets to Kyiv would raise the question of NATO's involvement in the Ukraine war. Meanwhile, Ukraine said that Russia had "not occupied" Bakhmut. 

The transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv would raise the question of NATO's involvement in the conflict, Russia's ambassador to the United States said in comments published early Monday.

"There is no infrastructure for the operation of the F-16 in Ukraine and the needed number of pilots and maintenance personnel is not there either," Anatoly Antonov said in a statement posted on the embassy's Telegram channel on Monday.

"What will happen if the American fighters take off from NATO airfields, controlled by foreign 'volunteers'?"

The remarks come after US President Joe Biden on Friday endorsed a plan for training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured Biden that the jet would not be used to go into Russia's territory.

Meanwhile, Antonov also said that any Ukrainian strike on Crimea would be considered a strike on Russia.

"It is important that the United States be fully aware of the Russian response," he added.

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