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Biden rules out sending F-16s to Ukraine but Macron may still commit French fighter jets

Joe Biden ruled out sending modern F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, declining requests from Volodymyr Zelensky.

The US president was speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday evening when asked if Washington would offer Kyiv single-engine multirole fighter jets. He simply answered, “No.”

The decision dealt a major blow to Ukraine’s leadership, which has placed jets at the top of its latest weapons wish list. Mr. Zelensky’s government has repeatedly demanded modern aircraft from the US, which would be a significant upgrade of the Ukrainian military’s Soviet-era MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets.

However, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to being an ally of his country, saying he plans to visit neighboring Poland around the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that France would not rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, which would send it to clash with Germany.

Mr Macron said that “nothing is ruled out in principle” but only if certain conditions are met and that this will not lead to an “escalation”.

His comments came just hours after Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, warned against a race to arm Ukraine with powerful weapons.

Scholz, who has long been accused of sitting on the fence over military aid to Ukraine, orchestrated a breakout with Joe Biden to send advanced tanks to Ukraine earlier this month.

However, on Monday he reiterated that he would not extend the supply of weapons to fighter jets, which is now contrary to the position of France and other Western allies.

“I can only advise not to enter into constant competition to outdo each other when it comes to weapon systems,” Scholz told German news agency Tagesspiegel.

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