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Zelenskyy gets Romania’s support for F-16 training initiative

Despite a canceled speech before the Romanian Parliament due to “possible disruptions by MPs with pro-Russian sympathies,” Romania has agreed to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16.
Credit: Presidential Office
Zelenskyy gets Romania’s support for F-16 training initiative

On 10 October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Romania would train Ukrainian pilots for the F-16, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

At a joint press conference in Bucharest with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “there is an extremely important decision to train pilots for the F-16 in Romania.”

“A pilot training center is being set up. We discussed with Mr. President [Klaus Iohannis] how to speed up such training and agreed that Ukrainian pilots would be included in the first wave of training,” Zelesnkyy added.

According to Zelenskyy, at the joint meeting, he also informed the Romanian President about the situation on the battlefield, “good news about artillery and air defense,” and Ukraine’s defense needs.

At 5 PM on 10 October, Zelesnkyy was scheduled to give a speech in the Romanian parliament. However, it was canceled due to “possible disruptions by MPs with pro-Russian sympathies.”

“I have no shortage of speeches in any country. Of course, I came to visit the Romanians and discuss strategic issues with President Iohannis. I also met with the prime minister and the heads of the two chambers [of parliament], but I did not prepare a speech. I’m not ready to do that. But next time, I will come and do it especially for the parliament and journalists,” Zelenskyy reacted to the situation.

Earlier, the Office of the Romanian President announced that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would visit Romania at the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis.

According to the statement, Zelenskyy and Iohannis would discuss strengthening support for Kyiv in countering Russian aggression, the region’s security situation and the Black Sea, and “the necessary steps to resolve it.” In addition, Romanian President was to “emphasize constructive and pragmatic approaches” to the issue of “full respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.”

Earlier, in January 2023, during a telephone conversation with Zelenskyy, Iohannis expressed “Romania’s concerns about the recently adopted law on minorities and agreed to intensify the dialogue to find solutions to ensure the highest standards of protection for the Romanian community in Ukraine, as well as for the Ukrainian community in Romania.”

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