Giving Kiev jets would need 'months if not years' of training: UK PM
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunaks is looking for the most effective way to help Ukraine guarantee victory.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Thursday that sending fighter jets to Ukraine would need "months if not years" of training and that he was looking for the most efficient way of helping Kiev guarantee victory.
In a TV interview marking his first 100 days as leader, Sunak told TalkTV's Piers Morgan Uncensored the UK was "always talking to the Ukrainians about the right support they need".
"The issue is what is the support that we can provide that we think will make the most difference? ...That's why the decision I took as prime minister was to be one of the first countries in the world to provide heavy tanks to Ukraine… We were then followed by other countries.”
Sunak said that fighter jets were "incredibly sophisticated pieces of equipment that require months if not years for people to be trained on".
"Our desire and goal are for Ukraine to win this conflict… So, it's not just the equipment it's also the capabilities and training that come alongside that, together with a plan with our allies that would ensure that they can be victorious."
It is worth noting that a couple of days ago, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on incumbent Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to "forget Putin" and send fighter jets to Ukraine.
During a surprise visit to Washington, Johnson said there was no reason to delay support to Ukraine's forces.
A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister said the move would be unpractical as it would take several months for Ukrainian forces to learn how to operate the warplanes.
In spite of the criticism of Johnson's tour in Washington, mainly because of his role and influence in foreign policy, British sources have indicated that the former prime minister would continue to work for continued US support for Ukraine.
Last week, Colonel Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said Kiev intended to obtain 24 F-16 fighter jets from its international allies.
The Ukrainian spokesperson indicated that the Air Force's priority wasto receive US-made F-16s, although Kiev considers other options such as Swedish Gripen and French Rafale.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considered that the West must provide Kiev with jets and long-range missiles in order to help the fight against Russia.
Zelensky stressed that his country needs jets to be able to repel Russia's forces. "This is a dream. And this is a task," he said.
His statement came directly after the United States and Germany announced that they will send their most advanced main battle tanks to Ukraine, the US-made M1 Abrams and the Leopard 2.