President Joe Biden on Monday indicated that the United States would not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, even as Kyiv continues to request such war material from Western powers.
Biden simply responded “no” to reporters when asked if the nation would provide such support, according to The Hill. Last week, the administration announced it would supply 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to the Ukrainian forces, though, delivery and training will prevent that armor from taking the field for several months.
Kyiv promptly renewed its request for F-16 fighters after the announcement, though Western powers appear somewhat more hesitant to hand over their modern aerial fighters. White House advisor John Kirby last week said he “can’t blame the Ukrainians for wanting more and more systems,” per The Hill.
Biden’s refusal to send planes comes ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive that will possibly coincide with the one-year anniversary of the war’s Feb. 24, 2022, start.