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Training of Ukrainian F-16s could start in July, Danish Defense Minister warns – POLITICO

Ukrainian pilots could start training on F-16 fighter jets in July, acting Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said on Tuesday.

“I expect that by the end of June we have it officially in place, so hopefully we can start after that,” Poulsen told reporters ahead of a meeting of ministers in Brussels.

“And then it’s probably an effort that will take up to six months before we have the facilities in place for us to be able to fly F-16 fighter jets from Ukraine,” the minister added.

kyiv has been pressing its Western allies for months to hand over modern fighter jets, stressing that it needs them to bolster its aging air force and repel a large-scale invasion from Russia.

While several countries – such as the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark – have agreed to teach Ukrainian pilots how to fly the F-16s, none have committed to delivering the planes.

The Danish Defense Minister carefully avoided making such promises on Tuesday.

“It won’t be until the fall that we will discuss a possible donation of F-16 fighter jets,” Poulsen said.

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