In his speech in the British Parliament, Zelensky requested the delivery of combat aircraft from Great Britain and the Western Allies, but the request was received by the British government with appreciable reluctance. Following the official program of the Ukrainian President, in a joint British-Ukrainian statement issued on Wednesday evening, London reaffirmed its firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its recognized borders.
According to the statement, Ukraine has the right to pursue its own security arrangements, including future NATO membership.
The joint statement read: Great Britain and Ukraine strongly reject Russia’s demand for a sphere of influence, as well as Russia’s attempts to change borders by force.
According to the wording of the declaration, Great Britain and Ukraine will jointly build a Ukrainian army capable of defending the country and deterring attacks.
Great Britain will provide training to at least twice as many Ukrainian soldiers this year than last year, and provide military support to Ukraine worth at least 2.3 billion pounds sterling (about HUF 1010 billion), including equipment of a higher level of development, according to for the joint statement. States. The announcement did not say what kind of military equipment this meant, so the document did not mention the delivery of Western warplanes to Ukraine either.
But Volodymyr Zelensky, in his speech on Wednesday to members of the British House of Parliament and representatives of the British government, asked the Western allies to provide Ukraine with modern combat aircraft. Zelensky said Ukraine was “asking for wings” in the form of fighter jets to protect its freedom. The Ukrainian president has clearly indicated the fact that he would also like to receive military aircraft from Great Britain.
I leave Parliament by saying thanks in advance to the efficient British aircraft
– Zelensky said in his speech, which was greeted with a standing ovation.
In response to a speech by the Ukrainian president on Wednesday, a Downing Street spokesperson stressed that combat aircraft are very complex military equipment, and that British military pilots need five years to train. The Prime Minister’s Office in London said last week that it would be “impractical” to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine due to the length of the training period.
A Downing Street spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had tasked Defense Minister Ben Wallace with examining aircraft that Britain could deliver to Ukraine. At the same time, the spokesperson emphasized:
This can only be seen as a long-term solution, and Ukraine now needs defense capabilities that are available in the short term the most.
According to a Downing Street report on Wednesday, London has offered Zelensky to train Ukrainian pilots to operate combat aircraft with advanced technology that meet NATO standards as part of a long-term training program for Ukrainian soldiers.
Rishi Sunak and Volodymyr Zelensky visited a base in southwest England on Wednesday night where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained.
At their joint press conference here, when asked about the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, the British prime minister repeated the argument that military aircraft are very technologically advanced devices, and that it can take up to three years to train a pilot. Rishi Sunak added that a separate supply chain for fighter jets should also be built. He said that the issue of combat aircraft was “discussed at the level of dialogue” between the two countries.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the Russian Embassy in London drew attention to the fact that if Great Britain supplies warplanes to Ukraine, this will have “political and military consequences in Europe and around the world.”
Cover image: Getty Images
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