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F-16 coalition for Ukraine discussed by Zelenskyy, Austin in Singapore

At Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore, Zelenskyy met with Austin to discuss Ukraine’s defense requirements, air defense strengthening, F-16 coalition, and bilateral security deal preparation.
ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy (r) us secretary defense lloyd austin (l) singapore 2 june 2024 presidentgovua 713d154508913fe0
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) in Singapore on 2 June 2024. Photo:
F-16 coalition for Ukraine discussed by Zelenskyy, Austin in Singapore

On 2 June, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue Asia security summit in Singapore to discuss key issues related to Ukraine’s defense needs, the President’s Telegram account reported.

The talks reportedly covered strengthening Ukraine’s air defense system, establishing a coalition for providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and preparing a bilateral security agreement between the two countries. According to earlier reports, Ukraine is expected to receive its first F-16 this summer, with some 80 fighter jets pledged by the country’s allies.

Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne says Zelenskyy informed Austin about Russia’s efforts to disrupt the upcoming Global Peace Summit, emphasizing that the participation of all key partners of Ukraine would render such attempts by Russia meaningless.

The governments of Ukraine and Switzerland are jointly organizing the Global Peace Summit for country leaders on 15-16 June 2024, in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, with over 160 countries invited to participate by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 2024.

During the meeting with Austin, the Ukrainian President expressed gratitude to US President Biden for the crucial decision to allow defensive strikes on Russian territory using American weapons, which will “effectively counter Russian attempts to expand the combat zone.”

Zelenskyy underscored the vital defense and political support Ukraine continues to receive from the United States, highlighting the importance of this assistance in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Earlier, in an interview with The Guardian President Zelenskyy acknowledged that the slow arrival of US aid is hindering Ukraine’s ability to form new brigades and effectively counter Russian aggression in the Kharkiv Oblast.

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