Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was on a trip to Europe, where he met with Giorgia Meloni, Pope Francis, Olaf Scholz, Emmanuel Macron, and Rishi Sunak.
During a visit to Paris and London, Volodymyr Zelensky received a positive decision regarding the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft, which may be the first step towards the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
French President Emmanuel Macron stated on May 15 that his nation had “opened the door” to training Ukrainian fighter pilots.
“We have opened the door to training pilots, and this with several other European countries who are also ready.”Emmanuel Macron, French President
A British government press release states that the UK will also train Ukrainian pilots. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the UK would launch a new training program for Ukrainian pilots to support attempts to establish a new air force in Ukraine that complies with NATO standards and is equipped with F16 aircraft.
“This summer we will commence an elementary flying phase for cohorts of Ukrainian pilots to learn basic training. This will adapt the programme used by UK pilots to provide Ukrainians with piloting skills so they can apply a different kind of aircraft,” the statement said.
It is stressed that these drills are related to the UK’s initiatives to work with other nations to help Ukraine get F-16 fighters.
As Ukraine’s army is preparing for an anticipated counteroffensive in the upcoming weeks, President Zelensky has traveled to major cities in Europe to rally support. Before leaving for London on Monday, he spent Sunday in Paris, holding talks with French President Macron.
To regain control of its sky facing massive Russian missile and drone assaults, Ukraine is focusing on acquiring modern fighter jets from Western allies.