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Wed Feb 8, 2023, 04:12 PM

Jets for Ukraine will not be immediate, says No 10 after Zelensky plea

President meets the King and invokes Churchill during visit



The prime minister Rishi Sunak has asked the Ministry of Defence to look into sending fighter jets to Ukraine as part of a “long-term solution” (Steven Swinford writes).

President Zelensky urged Britain to provide Ukraine with fighter jets in an impassioned speech to MPs in parliament during a surprise visit to London. “Thank you in advance for all your British planes,” he told them. Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, said Britain should deploy 100 Typhoon jets and 100 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine now.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister has tasked the defence secretary with investigating what jets we might be able to give but, to be clear, this is a long-term solution rather than a short-term capability, which is what Ukraine needs most now.”

However, the No 10 spokesman stressed the practical problems with sending planes rapidly, in particular that Ukrainian pilots have not had the necessary training. The government announced this morning that it would soon begin training Ukrainian pilots, but the typical training process for British pilots lasts several years.


Typhoon FGR4

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