President Joe Biden said that the U.S. will not supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. It comes from the former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson preparing to meet with Republican lawmakers this week to press the United States to sustain aid to Ukraine as it fights off Russia’s assault.
Biden told reporters that the U.S. would not be supplying the fighter jets to Ukraine. Reporters asked if the White House would be approving the provision of F-16s, and Biden simply answered “no.”
It is a significant and potentially terminal setback to Kyiv’s campaign to obtain the fast jets that had been rapidly gaining momentum.
The short remark is likely to send shockwaves across the Atlantic. It come a few days after national security officials had said Washington would be discussing the issue “very carefully” with allies.
It also comes shortly after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that Russia had begun exacting its revenge for Ukraine’s resistance to its invasion with relentless attacks in the east.
What the U.S. will provide to Ukraine is a big topic right now.
Johnson is set to meet with Republicans on Tuesday evening at a private Republican club in D.C., and then to meet with a group of Republican senators this week as well.
Johnson will discuss the need for “Western unity and support for Ukraine and what more can be done against the threat Russia poses”.
The Republicans took over the House from the Democrats at the beginning of this year. Some hardline Republicans have called for an end to the U.S. military and other assistance to Ukraine, which amounts to tens of billions of dollars.
Johnson left the office of prime minister in September after a series of scandals. He had been the prime minister when Russia invaded Ukraine and sought to position the UK as Ukraine’s top Western ally.