Zelenskyy laments lack of jet fighters on visit to Finland
Kyiv, May 3 (EFE).- The Ukrainian president on Wednesday condemned his country’s Western allies for not sending modern fighter jets ahead of Kyiv’s anticipated counteroffensive to recover Russian-occupied territories in eastern and southern Ukraine.
“I am sure we will receive aircraft later, and we would like to receive them earlier because it would be easier, but I am thankful for everything anyway,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto, during a visit to the Nordic nation, which recently became the latest member of Nato.
Ukraine has had to “constantly prove on the battlefield” that it deserves to receive Western weaponry, Zelenskyy said, pointing out that his country has only received the necessary weapons after achieving successes that few expected.
Zelenskyy repeated that Ukraine wants to receive F-16 aircraft, and jokingly insisted to his Finnish counterpart that Kyiv would also gladly accept the Hornet aircraft that Helsinki plans to retire when it receives F-35 fighters from the United States.
“We like your planes, just so you know,” Zelenskyy told Niinisto to laughter from journalists.
The Ukrainian head of state thanked Finland for the 15 military aid packages that Helsinki has already approved and for Helsinki’s support for Kyiv’s aspirations to join the Euro-Atlantic community.
After their meeting, Niinisto and Zelenskyy were due to meet with the prime ministers of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland in a “Nordic-Ukrainian summit” where Kyiv hopes to secure more military aid to repel the Russian military invasion. EFE