Biden, Zelensky to Hold Talks on Ukraine's Latest Weapons Requests

© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyPresident Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Washington.
President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Washington.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2023
The United States delivered over $25 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in 2022, and announced several new “aid” packages in December and January, including heavy equipment like Patriot missile batteries and Abrams tanks. Moscow has cited this support as evidence of American involvement in a proxy war with Russia.
US President Joe Biden has announced his intention to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, about Kiev's calls for the delivery of advanced military hardware.
"We're going to talk," Biden said, speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday morning.
Asked whether Washington would entertain sending F-16 fighter jets, as requested by Kiev, and following a raft of media reports that US officials were already actively pushing the idea, Biden said firmly "no," without elaborating.
Biden also said he was "not sure" whether he would visit Europe for the one year anniversary of Russia's military operation in Ukraine next month, but confirmed that he does plan to fly to Poland - one of the countries through which US and NATO weapons are transferred to Ukraine, at some point.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Ukraine didn't need F-16s right now because it was already being provided with the military equipment needed for its operations in the winter and spring.
US Air Force F-16C and F-16D fighters assigned with the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, arrive in Kallax, Sweden on 17 May to support the Arctic Challenge Exercise 21 drills. - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2023
F-16s Not Needed in Ukraine With US Already Sending New Capabilities, White House Says
Ukraine has already received tens of billions of dollars' worth of military assistance from Washington and its NATO allies, with the latest assistance set to include heavy main battle tanks and Patriot missile systems. The US and its allies have ignored Russia's repeated warnings about the implications of arms deliveries to Kiev, including the dangers of escalating the conflict and the weapons being smuggled out of Ukraine by criminal groups and ending up in the hands of gangs and terrorists.
Last week, US House Foreign Relations Committee chief Michael McCaul urged Washington to deliver even more powerful weapons, including long-range ATACMS strike systems, which Kiev can use to "hit Crimea."
After Germany folded to months of pressure from Kiev and Washington on deploying Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine last week, Ukrainian officials immediately upped their demands to include strike fighters, submarines, and a recently decommissioned German frigate, to "kick the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea."
French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters Monday that nothing was off the table after being asked if Paris could deploy fighters to Ukraine. Macron met with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov Tuesday to discuss French support for Ukraine's war effort.
Poland indicated that it could only transfer its stocks of F-16s in coordination with NATO, while German officials said that fighters are out of the question.
NATO assistance to Kiev over the past year has led to widespread complaining among Western military officials about the impact of the conflict in "hollowing out" their reserves of equipment and ammunition. There have been no complaints from America and Europe's military-industrial complexes, however, with arms makers reporting massive bumps in profits and stock prices.
The Global Establishment is Hungry for a World War III Scenario - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2023
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The Global Establishment is Hungry for a World War III Scenario
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