May 7, 2024, 2:24 PM

Russia warns Ukraine's F-16s to be treated as nuclear threat

Russia warns Ukraine's F-16s to be treated as nuclear threat

TEHRAN, May 07 (MNA) – The Russian government is warning Ukraine that Kyiv's new fleet of F-16 fighter jets will be treated as a "nuclear-capable" threat.

Ukraine's military said last week that it would begin operating the US-made jets as soon as Monday. Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Ilya Yevlash said that the planes would be ready for battle after Orthodox Easter, which was Sunday.

According to Newsweek, the F-16s—provided by Western allies including Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium—will represent a much-needed update to Ukraine's aging fleet of largely Soviet-made aircraft that have been battered and depleted after more than two years of combat.

Regardless, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Ukraine in a statement on Monday that it "cannot ignore" the possibility that the planes could have the capability of delivering nuclear weapons.

"No matter what modification of the aircraft will be supplied [to Ukraine] we will treat them as nuclear-capable and we will consider this step of the United States and NATO as a purposeful provocation," it continues.

The Russian government argues that French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion of NATO troops intervening in the Russia-Ukraine war means that the West is "deliberately trying to turn the Ukrainian crisis into an open military clash between NATO countries and Russia," according to Russian-state news agency Sputnik.

Nearly all other NATO allies, including the US, have rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine for potential combat. President Joe Biden said during his State of the Union address in March that there are "no American soldiers at war in Ukraine, and I'm determined to keep it that way."

Monday was not the first time that Russia has warned F-16s will be considered a nuclear threat once a Ukrainian fleet is operative. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly made similar remarks after it was announced that Kyiv would be receiving the jets last year.


News ID 214845


Your Comment

You are replying to: .
  • captcha