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Zelensky’s Call For Fighter Jets

Britain will train Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard jets as a “first step,” the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said yesterday, strongly suggesting the training pledge was a prelude to providing Ukraine with advanced British fighter planes to help battle invading Russian forces. “With regard to aircraft, we have already said nothing is off the table,” he added. The announcement came at a joint news conference with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, who yesterday made a surprise visit to London on which he thanked Britain for its robust military support of his country but issued a blunt demand: supply Ukraine with fighter jets, a step the British government and the Biden administration have so far resisted. Britain was in the vanguard in offering tanks to Ukraine and has promised to send 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks, which Sunak said would arrive within “weeks.” Zelensky has called for additional advanced weaponry from the West, without which, he warned, the war in Ukraine could descend into a stalemate with Russia. Agenda: The news conference followed Zelensky’s address to the British Parliament and his meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, and he went to Paris yesterday evening for another stop on the brief tour of Europe, where he met with President Emmanuel Macron of France and the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, at the Élysée Palace.

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