The United States will help train Ukrainian pilots and engineers on F-16 fighter jets, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday, APA reports citing CNN.
The Ukrainian president said he talked to US President Joe Biden on Thursday to discuss plans around the jets,.
“It was a good conversation," Zelensky said in his nightly address. "We discussed how to further strengthen freedom. And we have a new important agreement: America will join the training of F-16 pilots and engineers,” he added.
On Thursday night, the White House confirmed that Biden and Zelensky had discussed the commencement of training Ukrainian fighter pilots. That training is expected to start in October, Pentagon Spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Thursday.
Zelensky has repeatedly called for support in bolstering Ukraine’s air defense system through F-16 jets and training for pilots to operate the aircraft.
In Friday’s address, Zelensky said the next steps for Ukraine are clear.
“For the international team, it is to maximize the expansion of training missions. For the military, it is to accelerate the preparation of the infrastructure as much as possible, to send pilots and engineers to ensure Ukraine's full readiness. And all together, it is about bringing closer the moment when F-16s will help us keep Russian terrorists away,” Zelensky said.