“I think that six-seven months is the minimum term that should be consciously estimated, although if it is a little more we should not be disappointed,” said the minister, who was quoted by RBC-Ukraina news agency on Tuesday.
Kiev has long been calling on Western allies to deliver F-16s to Ukraine and insists on the creation of an “aircraft coalition.”
The head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andrei Yermak, pointed out that they expected to receive these aircraft by the end of the year.
On 20 August, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced a “decisive agreement” with Amsterdam on the supply of 42 F-16 fighters. Denmark also said it was ready to transfer 19 F-16 fighters to Kiev.
On August 17, US President Joe Biden’s administration approved the shipment of F-16 fighter jets from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine as soon as Ukrainian pilots complete their training to operate the fighters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in turn, stated that the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) satellites are creating risks of a direct armed confrontation with Russia, which could have catastrophic consequences.
According to Lavrov, the fact that Kiev has F-16 fighters capable of carrying nuclear weapons will be considered by Russia a nuclear threat from the West.
Similarly, Russian Ambassador in Copenhagen Vladimir Barbin commented that the delivery of F-16 fighter jets by Denmark to Ukraine may escalate the conflict, leaving no choice but to continue the military confrontation.
Such a position pushes Ukraine into the abyss and condemns its population to new victims, the Russian diplomat warned.