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President Iohannis approves training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s at military base in Romania

18 March, 2024 Monday
20:10

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has approved the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets to be held at the country's military base in Fătesti

This is reported by Digi24.

The Romanian leader, in addition to training about 50 Ukrainians on F-16 aircraft, agreed to transport some weapons for Ukraine through the territory of his country.

Iohannis informed the parliament of his approval of the transit of military aid to Ukraine from Finland and the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s by letter.

Now, this letter is to be considered by the leadership of both chambers of the Romanian parliament on Monday. The vote should take place at the next joint plenary session.

At present, the Romanian authorities don't disclose the date of the training of Ukrainian pilots. However, the publication's sources claim that the Ukrainians are expected to arrive at the air base in Fătesti this summer.

F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine

On May 21, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory. 

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.

On August 17, the United States approved the shipment of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine.

At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with the aircraft if they were not used in Russia. 

The Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will provide Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.

On September 15, Belgium joined the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate.

On October 11, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that the country would be able to deliver the first F-16s to Ukraine in March-April 2024.

On October 12, the media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots would begin training in a few weeks.

On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s at an air base in Arizona, USA.

On November 1, the Pentagon said that the training in Arizona could last from 5 to 9 months.

In early January 2024, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that Ukrainian pilots would complete training on F-16 fighter jets this year.

On February 8, Ambassador to the Netherlands Oleksandr Karasevych said that Ukraine would receive F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands this year, but the exact date was not announced.

On February 17, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the delivery of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine was on schedule.

On March 1, the Air Force said that Ukrainian pilots are practicing strikes on air and ground targets using F-16s, but the transition to them cannot be quick.

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