Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expecting fighter jets from France and Germany for its fight against Russia. President Zelensky met the leaders of France and Germany in Paris on Wednesday. Both leaders pledged to provide continued support to Ukraine to make sure that the country wins its war against Russia. Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany both expressed that they believe Russia must not win the war. Ukraine is under the constant worry of Russia’s airstrikes on civilian areas. President Zelensky is requesting fighter jet support from its allied countries to fend off the Russian aircraft from Ukrainian airspace. It is because Ukraine is still using decades-old fighter jets from the 20th century. Being equipped with modern fighter jets such as F-22s will provide a significant edge to Ukraine. So far, Zelensky has made requests for fighter jets to the US, the UK, Germany, and France. He is scheduled to address other European nations Today, where he will be requesting fighter jets from other countries as well.
Russia has increased its offensive operations on Ukrainian land and airspace. It has overwhelmed Ukraine which is struggling to maintain its position because of the scarcity of heavy artillery. Amid all this, Russia has been attacking civilian areas, killing thousands of Ukrainians, which has put more strain on already overwhelmed Ukrainian forces. Although the allied countries have pledged to send battle tanks to Ukraine, it will take at least a year for these tanks to join the battlefield. This is more than enough time to change the fate of Ukraine. This is why President Zelensky is actively seeking support in the form of fighter jets.
President Zelensky joined the French and German leaders in a news conference. He said that France and Germany have the potential to change Ukraine’s state in the war against Russia with the supply of battle tanks, long-range missiles, and fighter jets. He further stated that he has talked with the leaders of both countries and has made them aware of the small time window. Emmanuel Macron assured Zelensky of France’s continued support for Ukraine. And Olaf Scholz reinstated Germany’s vision that Russia must not win the war. However, both countries have not yet made it clear whether they will be accepting Ukraine’s request for fighter jets or not.
France and Germany have often been hesitant in providing support for Ukraine. Both countries have continuously provided delayed support to Ukraine, and because of this, both leaders have faced criticism in the past. President Zelensky himself has expressed his frustration towards the French president because of his continued conversations with Russian president Putin. But during this news conference, Zelensky told the reporters that Macron has shown significant change regarding his support towards Ukraine.
President Zelensky also visited the UK parliament on Wednesday, to seek fighter jet support. The UK has already pledged to send its 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks. Although being supplied by the UK, these tanks are manufactured in Germany, and Ukraine will have to wait till 2024 to get them delivered. Although the UK did not deny the delivery of fighter jets, Downing Street said that it is indeed a long-term solution as fighter jets require trained pilots, which takes years to do so.