An 11-nation coalition will start training Ukrainian fighter pilots on F-16 fighter jets in Romania & Denmark.
NATO members Denmark and the Netherlands have been leading international efforts to train pilots as well as support staff, maintain aircraft and ultimately enable the supply of F-16s to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced the Romania training programme on Tuesday alongside Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren and Denmark’s acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.
“Hopefully, we will be able to see results at the beginning of next year,” Poulsen told reporters.
Resnikov said he hoped the training would last no longer than six months and that by that point, Ukraine will be using combat aircraft in its fight against Russia’s invasion of his country.
Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly called for Western countries to supply planes and training for its pilots if it is to succeed in its offensive against Russia.
So far, no countries have committed to sending F-16s to Ukraine, though Poland and Slovakia have supplied 27 MiG-29s to supplement Ukraine’s fleet of combat aircraft.