Ukraine defense minister expects help from Western warplanes

Ukraine defense minister expects help from Western warplanes

Kyiv, The Gulf Observer: Ukraine’s defense minister expressed confidence Sunday that Western allies would agree to the country’s latest weapons request warplanes to fight off Russian forces that invaded nearly a year ago.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told a news conference in Kyiv that Ukraine has already received everything from its “wish list to Santa,” except planes.

“There will be planes, too,” Reznikov predicted. “The question is just what kind exactly. Consider that this mission is already completed.”

So far, Ukraine has won support from Baltic nations and Poland in its quest to obtain Western fighter jets. But several Western leaders have expressed concern that providing warplanes could provoke the Kremlin and draw their countries deeper into the conflict, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and wreaked massive destruction.

Kyiv says such jets are essential to challenging Russia’s air superiority and ensuring success in a Russian offensive that Reznikov predicted could begin around the war’s one-year anniversary, Feb. 24.

“Not all Western weapons will arrive by then, but we have the resources and reserves to help stabilize and sustain the offensive,” Reznikov told reporters.