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Denmark fuels war, announces delivery of F-16 fighters to Ukraine


In a bold move that has drawn international attention, Denmark has taken a decisive step to fuel the ongoing conflict by announcing the delivery of F-16 fighters to Ukraine, set to commence this summer. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister of Denmark, who also revealed a substantial new package of military assistance for Kyiv, valued at $247.4 million. This development follows closely on the heels of the Dutch Minister of Defense’s declaration at the end of January, outlining plans to supply American fighters to Ukraine, thereby intensifying Denmark’s involvement and support in the ongoing conflict.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the country expects to supply Ukraine with the first F-16 fighter jets in the summer,  Reuters reports. Frederiksen also announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth $247.4 million (DKK 1.7 billion). In total, according to her, since the beginning of the military special operation in Ukraine, Denmark has sent assistance to Kyiv for over $4.8 billion (DKK 33.3 billion). Frederiksen also called on other Western countries to increase their support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities believe that F-16 fighters will help it counter Russian air superiority, Reuters wrote in August 2023. Then the agency, citing sources and letters from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, reported that Denmark and the Netherlands requested official US guarantees for approval of the transfer of military aircraft to Ukraine. Blinken’s letters expressed support for the transfer of military aircraft. Approving the requests from the Netherlands and Denmark will help Ukraine “take full advantage of its new capabilities once the first cohort of pilots completes their training,” Blinken said in the letter. F-16s are manufactured by the American company Lockheed Martin.

Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren announced that the country intends to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine by the end of the year. However, she did not name the exact delivery date. At the end of 2023, the Dutch government announced that the country was ready to send 18 fighter jets to Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden approved a program to train Ukrainian pilots for the F-16 in the summer of 2023. Now Denmark and the Netherlands are leading international efforts to train pilots and support personnel, as well as maintain the F-16s that will be transferred to Ukraine, Reuters wrote. According to the agency, in addition to training in Denmark, a training center should be established in Romania.

Western countries began discussing the idea of ​​​​transferring modern fighters to Kiev, initiated by Ukraine and the Baltic countries, immediately after the decision to supply modern tanks, Politico reported at the end of January 2023. The publication noted that Kyiv’s European allies foresee that the conflict could last another three to five years or longer, and are calculating actions so as not to provoke a sharp reaction from Moscow.

The Russian side, in turn, criticizes the supply of Western weapons to Kyiv. In particular, on August 9, 2023, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that “the West’s willingness to invest a significant portion of its available resources in Ukraine to turn the situation on the battlefield in its favor creates serious risks of further escalation of the conflict.”

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