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Putin Warns West Against Sending F-16s to Ukraine

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Russia‘s President Vladimir Putin has issued a stern warning to the West regarding the potential supply of F-16 fighters to Ukraine, stating that if such aircraft are sent, they will be targeted and any bases used will become legitimate objectives.

Speaking to Russian air force pilots, Putin reassured that Russia harbors no aggressive intentions towards NATO states, including Poland, the Baltic States, and the Czech Republic. He dismissed claims of plans to attack NATO nations as baseless.

The Kremlin leader emphasized that the escalating tensions with the US stem from Washington‘s support for Ukraine through financial aid, weaponry, and intelligence sharing.

In response to the F-16 fighter jets promised to Ukraine by Western allies, Putin asserted that their deployment would not alter the conflict dynamics on the ground.

He warned that Russian forces would neutralize any incoming F-16s just as they deal with tanks, armored vehicles, and other military assets. Notably, Putin raised concerns about the possibility of these aircraft being capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

If the F-16s are operated from airfields in third-party nations, Putin declared them as legitimate targets, irrespective of their location.

As Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba anticipates the arrival of F-16s in the coming months, countries like Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands have committed to donating these fighter jets.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz disclosed that he hasn’t engaged in talks with Putin since December 2022, highlighting the strained communications amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Despite criticism for his approach to the crisis, Scholz defended Germany’s substantial support for Ukraine in terms of weaponry and financial aid, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to aiding the war-stricken country.

Amid the persisting conflict, Scholz reiterated that peace remains a viable outcome if Putin chooses to halt the “barbaric campaign” and withdraw Russian troops from Ukrainian territories.

Rachel Adams

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