NATO Chief Stoltenberg gives Zelensky permission to use nuclear-capable NATO F-16s for attacks INSIDE Russia

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While some of Ukraine’s backers want the jets in action as soon as possible, they will have a stronger impact if the pilots are well-trained and there are enough maintenance and support crews on hand, according to Stoltenberg.

“So, I think we have to listen to the military experts exactly when we will be ready to or when allies will be ready to start sending and delivering the F-16s,” he said. “The sooner the better.”

Ukraine has long demanded the F-16 as a way to combat Russian air superiority. Denmark and the Netherlands have both pledged to contribute some of their jets, with President Vladimir Zelensky putting the total number at 42. The first Ukrainian pilots training in the West finished their classes in the UK in December.

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The way the US-made jet is designed means it might have difficulties operating from Ukrainian runways, sparking speculation that they could be flown from Poland, Romania or the Baltic states instead.

Russia has repeatedly warned such a deployment would be an escalation of the conflict and may even risk nuclear war, as the F-16 is capable of delivering B61 gravity bombs.

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“So, if one of those planes takes off from a NATO nation – what would that be? An attack on Russia. I shall not describe what could happen next,” Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council, said in an interview on Thursday.

h/t GravyForTheBrian

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