The White House said on Saturday that Joe Biden is ‘looking forward’ to meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Japan later this week, after paving the way for a future delivery of fighter jets to help Ukraine ‘defend itself’ against Russia.
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The US president “looks forward to the opportunity to meet him face-to-face,” his national security adviser, Jack Sullivan, said, confirming a planned meeting between the two leaders in Hiroshima.
Mr. Zelensky is expected in the Japanese city from Saturday, where he will participate on Sunday in the final day of a summit of seven major industrialized democracies, in the presence of several major emerging powers, including India and Brazil. He stopped in Saudi Arabia on Friday to attend the Arab League conference.
“It’s a very good, important thing that he went to the Arab League to have the opportunity to defend his cause from the Ukrainian perspective so that the world supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Jake Sullivan said.
Just before the Ukrainian president’s visit to Japan, Joe Biden overcame his long-held reluctance to say he was willing to allow Kyiv to supply other countries with the U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets he wants. A “historic” decision, welcomed the president of Ukraine.
Jack Sullivan confirmed to reporters in Hiroshima that Washington is now supporting a joint effort by its allies to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. He reaffirmed that during the exercise, which is expected to take several months, the West will determine the schedule for the delivery of the planes, their number and the countries that will provide them.
Joe Biden’s diplomatic adviser assured that US doctrine “hasn’t changed”. “Our approach to providing arms, equipment and training to the Ukrainians followed the demands of the conflict,” he explained.
He considered the F-16s to be part of the equipment Kyiv will need “in the future” to “prevent and defend against any Russian aggression” beyond immediate counter-terrorism needs. The Ukrainian attack was reported to many. Weeks through Ukraine.
The White House reiterated the US position that the US “does not facilitate or support attacks on Russian soil” through military assistance, including fighter jets. “Ukrainians have consistently indicated that they are willing to respect this position,” Mr. Sullivan promised.
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