During his visit to Lisbon on 19 May, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Portugal Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho and Defense Minister Helena Carreiras.
According to a statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Kuleba expressed gratitude to the Portuguese government for its decision to join the fighter jet coalition by training Ukrainian pilots and mechanics on Western-made combat aircraft.
“Portugal has demonstrated leadership by joining the tank coalition. Given the intensification of Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian cities and villages, it is critically important that Ukraine has the ability to throw Russia out of the Ukrainian sky,” Kuleba said.
Previously, FM Kuleba said four countries were ready to train Ukrainian pilots – the UK, The Netherlands, France, and Belgium. On 19 May, welcoming the US decision to approve the training of Ukrainian pilots, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also mentioned Denmark as a country ready to train the pilots:
Welcome announcement that the US will approve the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.
The UK will work together with the USA and the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark to get Ukraine the combat air capability it needs.
We stand united. https://t.co/36d8ffu6aa pic.twitter.com/9Us6mAieR3
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) May 19, 2023
- US plans to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, official says – NBC News
- US signals to allies that it allow their exports of F-16 jets to Ukraine – CNN
- US could train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s in 4 months – Yahoo News
- US resists European push for F-16 transfer to Ukraine
- Dutch FM reports no progress yet on fighter jet coalition
- Four countries ready to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16