June 21. 2024. 5:40

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Start training now, agree on weapons later, Ukraine’s FM tells Western allies

Western allies who could potentially send fighter jets to Ukraine should start proactively training Ukrainian pilots now and take the decision on supplying planes later, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday (18 February).

“This is our request to all our friends who can potentially share aircraft with Ukraine: Start training as soon as possible, without assuming any additional obligations right now,” Kuleba told reporters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Kyiv has in recent weeks repeatedly appealed to the West to add fighter jets to the delivery lists, with several European leaders indicating they are ready to supply aircraft, though no country has yet publicly committed to providing them.

According to Ukraine’s top diplomat, in the case of tanks, significant time had been wasted due to the lengthy process, with the decision on deliveries having to be made first and the training of Ukrainian troops following afterwards.

“I will take a chance, but I will say that Ukraine will receive aircraft: This is a matter of time and procedures. It will take longer than tanks – we understand this,” Kuleba said.

France proposes conference on ‘Europe’s air defence’

French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to toughen his stance towards Russia on Friday (17 February), urging allies to step up military support for Ukraine and suggesting a forum to deal with Kyiv’s request for fighter jets.
Speaking at the Munich Security …

‘No more Minsks’

Commenting on China’s plans to present a proposal for peace negotiations, Kuleba said it was also in Ukraine’s interest for China to play a role in peace efforts but categorically ruled out agreeing to any loss of territory for his country, saying its territorial integrity was non-negotiable.

Kuleba said he would meet China’s top diplomat Wang Yi before the latter left Munich to discuss the details of his initiative.

For Ukraine, however, it is clear that it will not agree to any peace plan “at any price” as past experience has shown that no compromises are possible with Russia.

China plans to present proposal for Ukraine-Russia peace talks

China will present its own proposal for a political settlement of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the country’s top diplomat Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday (18 February).

“No more Minsks, no more ‘contact lines’ – this is not something that stops Russia, as we have seen over the last year or a year before,” Kuleba said in reference to a set of agreements signed in 2014 and 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“No compromises are possible, not over the smallest square metre,” he added.

Kuleba ruled out the possibility that the war could develop into a “frozen conflict”.

In the end, one of the two warring parties will win and I am certain that this is Ukraine, he said when asked about his predictions, adding that a new “long-term security architecture” is now needed, for the future of Ukraine and that of the entire continent.