Prime Minister of Latvia said Ukraine will be given fighter jets soonMarch 5, 2023
‘I see no reason why the West should not supply fighter jets’: Prime Minister of Latvia says it is only a matter of time before Ukraine is given combat aircraft
- Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš is openly supportive of Ukraine winning the war
- He said that if Latvia had combative aircraft or tanks, he would offer them
- Read: Ukraine to get ‘double’ number of tanks than Britain originally promised
The Prime Minister of Latvia has said it is only a matter of time before the West supply Ukraine with fighter jets.
Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš is openly supportive of Ukraine and has declared that the war should end in Russia’s defeat.
He said yesterday that if Latvia had combative aircraft or tanks, he would be giving them to Ukraine – whose soldiers have proved they quickly pick up on how to operate new equipment.
‘I see no reason why the West should not supply fighter jets. If the Ukrainians need fighter jets, they should get them. They have repeatedly proven that they quickly learn to operate new equipment,’ he said in an interview with Spiegel.
The delivery of new fighter jets is regarded as a tougher task than that of tanks due to the increased complexity and difficulty in training and maintenance involved.
Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš (pictured this week) has said it is only a matter of time before the West supply Ukraine with fighter jets
But Kariņš said all European countries must be prepared to step up production of defence supplies and said: ‘Russia is producing 24 hours a day. They have switched to a war economy. We are still producing in peace mode.’
He also added that his country holds a responsibility to help Ukraine ‘achieve its goals’ in winning the war, and has already offered Zelenskyy Stinger missiles, howitzers, helicopters, uniforms, and medicines.
Last month Latvia became the first nation to say they will not compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games if athletes from Russia and Belarus are allowed to take part in response to the war in Ukraine.
Zorzs Tikmers, President of the Latvian Olympic Committee, said that if athletes from the two countries were allowed to compete in the Games while the war in Ukraine rages on, the Latvian team would boycott the summer Olympics next year.
Last year Latvian MPs expressed their disagreement with Putin’s forces and declared Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’, describing its war in Ukraine as a ‘targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people’.
The statement passed in Riga in August ‘recognises Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and calls on other like-minded countries to express the same view’.
MPs in the Baltic state, which borders Russia, said they considered ‘Russia’s violence against civilians committed in pursuit of political aims as terrorism’.
Pictured: File image of an F-16 Fighting Falcon originally developed for the United States Air Force
Meanwhile Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba has expressed confidence that Ukraine will be supplied with fighter jets from the West – whether that be from the US, the UK, France, or Germany.
US President Joe Biden also said that ‘for now’ there is no possibility of sending modern American fighter jets to Ukraine.
It comes as yesterday the Ukrainian ambassador revealed that Ukraine is set to receive ‘double’ the number of Challenger 2 tanks than Britain originally promised to send.
Vadym Prystaiko claimed the UK will double the original 14 tanks pledged to aid Ukraine’s fight against Russia following Presidnt Zelensky’s visit in February.
The ambassador’s comments were made during an interview with the European broadcaster Radio Liberty.
Prystaiko said: ’14 tanks were promised to us and as a result of President Zelensky’s visit, it was agreed that this number will double’.
Describing the moment Britain originally promised to send the tanks, he called it a ‘breakthrough’ as it was ‘necessary to move the reluctance of all other allies’.
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