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Politico: West discussing possibility of transferring fighter jets to Ukraine

KYIV. Jan 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Representatives of Western countries are conducting internal discussions about the possibility of transferring fighters to Ukraine, Politico said, citing sources.

"Conversations with more than half a dozen Western military officials and diplomats confirm an internal debate about supplying Ukraine with jet fighters is already underway, pushed by Ukrainian officials with support from hawkish Baltic states," the publication said.

It is noted that the idea of supplying fighter jets is especially supported by the Baltic countries.

However, according to Politico, this issue is likely to be "more contentious" than the tank situation.

At the same time, according to an unnamed diplomat, Washington had previously told Kyiv that the supply of fighter jets "is a no-go, for the moment." However, he said "last summer we had a red line on the HIMARS [MLRS], and that moved. Then it was battle tanks, and that’s moving."

Politico does not specify which aircraft models are in question. The publication notes that earlier Kyiv spoke of interest in the F-15 and F-16 aircraft. At the same time, the newspaper states that such deliveries would be extremely difficult in terms of logistics. They would probably demand the construction of more modern airfields in Ukraine and the presence of Western engineers there to maintain fighter jets.

The day before, the German authorities decided to transfer the first batch of 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. At the same time, the German authorities will give the allies permission to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday the decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.