Now that Ukraine is finally getting the tanks it wants, it's already looking for the next...• https://www.msn.com, By: Jake Epstein
Ukraine is finally getting the Western-made tanks that it wants, but there's still a few big items on its wishlist. Kyiv says the next thing it wants is fighter jets.
"We have new tasks ahead: Western-type fighter jets, sanctions, Peace Formula implementation," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after Germany announced on Wednesday it would send Leopard 2 main battle tanks, a decision that followed weeks of mounting pressure by European countries.
Yuriy Sak, an advisor to the Ukrainian defense minister, concurred, telling Reuters that "the next big hurdle will now be the fighter jets." Some others, however, have pointed to long-range missiles.
Throughout Russia's 11-month-long war, Ukraine has repeatedly pressed the US and other partners to provide Western fighter jets. As early as March of last year, Ukraine's air force lobbied on social media for NATO countries to send F-15 and F-16 fighter jets able to provide a better defense of its skies than the Soviet-era aircraft that it has been operating. Those requests have lately taken a backseat to other demands though.
Sending these highly capable jets to Ukraine would likely be a massive undertaking for the US. Top US Air Force officials have not ruled out sending aircraft to Ukraine, but nothing has been sent.