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Promised F-16 training for Ukrainians delayed due to “miscalculation” of one of partner countries, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister says

Promised F-16 training for Ukrainians delayed due to “miscalculation” of one of partner countries, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister says

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has expressed disappointment over the delay of the promised F-16 fighter jet training for Ukrainians. One of the countries made a commitment to begin the training in June but failed, Kuleba said on TV air on Monday.

Kuleba revealed that he had been confident Ukraine would receive the fighter jets “in the first months of next year” based on the understanding that the F-16 training was scheduled to begin in June.

“Training did not start in June. This means that the schedule begins to shift… We are now working with all relevant parties, with all countries involved in the jet coalition, to accelerate this process as much as possible,” he said, adding that “There was a promise to start training in June from one of the countries, now they say they continue to prepare for the start of training, they miscalculated, they need more time. But we do not have time.”

The issue of providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets was discussed within the framework of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense in June following Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy’s visit to Italy, Germany, France, and the UK. Ukraine’s partners approved a program for training Ukrainian pilots, engineers, and technicians on F-16 fighter jets as a long-term strengthening of Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

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