President Biden hosted Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark on the White Home on Monday to debate safety initiatives, together with offering navy assist to Ukraine, amid reviews that Kyiv may be stepping up its long-planned counteroffensive towards Russian forces.
One of many fundamental dialogue matters between Mr. Biden and Ms. Frederiksen, in accordance with the White Home, concerned Ukraine’s demand for American-made F-16 warplanes. In late Could, and after months of resisting mounting stress to offer the planes out of worry they may very well be used to hit Russian territory, Mr. Biden agreed to allow for pilots to be skilled to function the plane and for allied international locations to provide them.
Denmark is certainly one of a number of international locations whose leaders have signaled that they might be open to both switch F-16s from their very own stockpiles or present pilot coaching. Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway have also indicated that they might be prepared to assist.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden will host Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, one other key NATO ally who has been vocal about the necessity to arm Kyiv. In February, Mr. Sunak stated that “nothing was off the desk” when it got here to contemplating navy support for Ukraine.
Why It Issues: Combating has intensified as Ukraine heads to Russia’s entrance strains.
For the previous 16 months, Mr. Biden has helped preserve key Western allies of the US in settlement over the necessity to present support to Kyiv, despite softening domestic support for the struggle and amid conflicting opinions amongst different leaders about how greatest to arm Ukraine.
Now, as Ukrainian troopers step up their artillery strikes and floor assaults towards Russia’s entrance strains, the West once more finds itself at a pivotal level by which allies might want to transfer ahead in lock step.
John F. Kirby, a White Home spokesman, informed reporters on Monday that he couldn’t say whether or not the Ukrainian counteroffensive had formally began, however he added that the Biden administration had achieved all it might to offer assist to get Kyiv prepared.
“The president is assured that we did the whole lot we might over the previous six, eight months or extra to ensure that that they had all of the tools, coaching or capabilities,” Mr. Kirby stated.
On Monday, the timeline for supply of F-16s nonetheless remained unclear. Mr. Biden has known as it “extremely unlikely” that the F-16s could be a part of the counteroffensive that Ukraine deliberate over the previous a number of months.