Belgium Prohibits Use of F-16 Fighters by Ukraine for Strikes Inside Russia

Mon Jun 03 2024
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BRUSSELS: Belgium has said that Ukraine will not be permitted to use the F-16 fighters it received from Belgium for conducting strikes on targets situated within Russian territory. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo of Belgium underscored this restriction, emphasizing the terms outlined in the security agreement between the two nations.

According to reports from Ukrinform citing RFE/RL, Prime Minister De Croo clarified the conditions of the security agreement, requiring that military equipment, including F-16 fighters, will be exclusively utilized by the armed forces of Ukraine and solely within the territory of Ukraine. “The security agreement stipulates that military equipment will be used by the armed forces of Ukraine and on the territory of Ukraine,” De Croo stated.

Acknowledging the ongoing collaboration between Belgium and Ukraine, De Croo highlighted the current utilization of Belgian F-16s for training purposes. Ukrainian pilots are already undergoing training with Belgian F-16s, and technical support teams from Belgium are assisting in maintaining the aircraft’s operational readiness.

“Today, our planes are used to train new Ukrainian pilots. Our technical teams are used to provide technical support to keep aircraft in the air. Our teams are training Ukrainian technicians how to perform technical support,” De Croo explained.

The announcement comes in the wake of a bilateral agreement signed between President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Prime Minister Alexander de Croo of Belgium during Zelensky’s visit to Brussels. The agreement outlines substantial military support amounting to EUR 977 million by the end of the year, in addition to the transfer of 30 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

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