Zelensky continues hopes for F-16 support during visit to Belgium

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting Belgium. He arrived in the country on Tuesday evening and will meet prime minister Alexander De Croo on Wednesday.

Also present will be Foreign Affairs minister Hadja Lahbib, Defence minister Ludivine Dedonder and minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez. The upcoming Belgian presidency of the European Union and several bilateral agreement s will be discussed.

Zelensky has long been asking Western allies for fighter planes in his fight against Russia. De Croo referred to the war in his State of the Union on Tuesday. "Ukraine will be liberated," he said. "To do this, it must gain dominance of its airspace. Only then can the terrible air attacks stop. We will help with this as a member of the F-16 coalition, together with 15 other countries."

Currently, Belgium has not committed to supplying any F-16s but wants to aid Ukraine by training their pilots. Within the majority, liberal party MR is pushing the hardest to deliver fighter planes to Ukraine, but the ministry of Defence says this is not operationally possible as Belgium needs the aircraft for its own training and the defence of the airspace above the Benelux and the Baltic states.



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