Ukraine war: Western allies send Kyiv mixed messages on war planes

US President Joe Biden has ruled out providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, despite renewed calls from top Kyiv officials for urgent air support.

Asked on Monday if the US would be sending the planes, Mr Biden said “no”. The UK also said it was “not practical” for it to send its aircraft to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, France’s Emmanuel Macon said “by definition, nothing is excluded” ahead of meeting a Ukrainian minister.

Ukraine says advanced jets will help protect its skies from Russian attacks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s top military officials say there should be no taboos on such military aid – but the US and its partners fear this would lead to further escalation with a nuclear-armed Russia.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat was quoted by the Ukrainska Pravda news website as saying that Kyiv needed up to 200 multi-role fighter jets – such as F-16s – to defend its skies.

He said that Russia currently outnumbered Ukraine by five to…

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