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Norway will start donating F-16s to Ukraine

BUY-SELL | HELP WANTED | MATRIMONIAL

Oslo, July 10 (IANS) Norway Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Wednesday that the country will start the process of donating six F-16 fighters to Ukraine this year, aiming to boost Kyiv’s ability to defend itself against attacks from the air during its ongoing conflict against Russia.

The Norwegian government had decided last year to donate the F-16s to Ukraine as part of a multinational collaboration, led by Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA.Store had announced the decision on Ukraine’s Independence Day in Kyiv last year.Norway’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that it has contributed to the training of Ukrainian fighter pilots at Denmark’s Skrydstrup air base since autumn 2023.”Norway has and Norway will support the training in the future as well,” said Prime Minister Store.Norway phased out F-16 fighters in 2021 in connection with the phasing in of the new F-35 combat aircraft. As many as 32 F-16s have been sold to Romania.”We must continue to support Ukraine’s defence against the Russian war of aggression. Ukraine is fighting a battle both for its own freedom and for our shared values, democracy and international law. Ukraine is at the forefront of Euro-Atlantic security,” stated Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Foreign Minister.The need for weapons for the fighters will increase in line with the number of F-16s in the Ukrainian Air Force, believes Norway’s Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram.”Armament and other support for the aircraft will be handled within the framework of the multinational cooperation. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Great Britain and Norway are involved in this collaboration,” he mentioned.–IANSas/uk

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