Norway donates 6 F-16 jets to Ukraine

Norway donates 6 F-16 jets to Ukraine

‘Ukraine’s battle is our battle as well,’ says foreign minister

By Ahmet Gencturk

ATHENS (AA) - Norway announced Wednesday it is donating six US-made F-16 jets to Ukraine.

"Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against air attacks is crucial in its battle against Russia,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry. “We plan to start delivering the aircraft in the course of 2024.”

He said fighter jets, along with air-defense systems, are crucial for Ukraine to counter Russian aerial attacks, citing that Russia has been carrying out intensive aerial attacks targeting Ukraine’s civil population and infrastructure.

Also commenting on the issue and more generally, on military assistance to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Barth Eide said, “We must continue to support Ukraine’s fight to defend itself against Russia’s war of aggression. Ukraine’s battle is our battle as well. It is a battle not just to safeguard Ukraine’s freedom, but also to safeguard our common values, democracy and respect for international law.”

Norway has been among the major contributors of arms to Ukraine since the war with Russia broke out in February 2022. It is also providing training to Ukrainian pilots who will fly the F-16s, according to the ministry.

The ministry also revealed that states that are party to the F-16 coalition for Ukraine will provide more jets and consequently more relevant weapons systems for the jets once Ukrainian pilots and support personnel complete their training.

The coalition includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the UK, and Norway.

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