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NATO state sends air force pilot to Ukraine – media

The first Greek instructor has arrived to train Ukrainian Air Force personnel to operate F-16 warplanes, Defence-Point claims

Greece has sent its first instructor to Ukraine to train local pilots in the use of F-16 fighter jets, media outlet Defence-Point is claiming. The report also noted that Athens has acquired considerable experience over the years in the deployment of the US-made warplanes.

During a NATO summit in Lithuania last July, several member states, including Belgium, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, announced the creation of a F-16 coalition. The group vowed to deliver dozens of fighter jets to Ukraine and to provide appropriate training to its pilots.

Last August, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky revealed that Greece had also joined the coalition, pledging to train Kiev’s pilots.

In its exclusive report on Saturday, Defence-Point alleged that a member of the Greek Air force had already arrived in Kiev. According to the media outlet, Greek pilots can impart a great deal of experience to their Ukrainian colleagues as they have for decades used F-16 warplanes in close air combat against neighboring Türkiye.

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FILE PHOTO: F-16 fighter jets.
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Meanwhile, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday, Ukrainian MP Aleksey Goncharenko, citing unnamed sources, claimed that the “first group of French instructors is already on its way to Ukraine.” 
In February, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO should not rule out the deployment of its troops to Ukraine in the future. French officials were quick to clarify that the president was referring to non-combat personnel.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that the French head of state has been secretly working toward setting up a coalition of countries willing to deploy their military personnel to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters last Tuesday that the official deployment of Western forces to Ukraine would constitute “another step towards a serious conflict in Europe and a global conflict.” 

Commenting on the expected arrival of the first F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday stated that “we cannot help but consider the supply of these systems to the Kiev regime as a deliberate signaling of action by NATO in the nuclear sphere.” Developed in the 1970s, the US warplane is used by NATO member states as a nuclear weapon platform.

Back in March, President Putin also made it clear that Moscow would take into account the fact that F-16 warplanes are nuclear-capable. The president expressed confidence that contrary to Kiev’s hopes, the US-made fighter jets would not be able to change the trajectory of the conflict.

June 03, 2024 at 06:20PM
RT

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