Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the decision of Denmark and the Netherlands to supply Kiev with American F-16 fighter jets historic.
He said that the strengthening of Ukraine’s air defense will help the fight for the protection of Western values of freedom and democracy, against tyranny, and expressed his conviction that his country will win.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Denmark for its military support in a speech to the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, a day after Denmark and the Netherlands decided to supply Kiev with US-made F-16 fighter jets.
“You are the country of a people with a big heart before which Russia looks small. We are grateful for your strong support, the support of a great country. Because a great country is made by great people, with shared values”, said Mr. Zelenskyy.
For her part, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen assured Mr. Zelenskyy that the Danish people stand behind Ukraine.
“Because we know that your fight is our fight and we know that not only words matter, but actions on the ground,” said Mrs. Frederiksen.
The first planes are expected to be donated near the New Year. In total, Denmark will send 19 F-16s.
Mr. Zelenskyy said that this is a historic decision for the entire region, which will help Ukraine’s struggle to protect Western values.
“All of Russia’s neighbors are under threat if Ukraine surrenders, international law will not survive, all democracies in the world will be targeted, whether by missiles, mercenaries or destabilizing plans. But Ukraine will prevail,” Mr. Zelenskyy said.
Since the start of the Russian attack, Kiev has been pressuring its Western allies for the supply of F-16 fighter jets.
Ukrainian forces still use Soviet-era fighter jets from the 1970s and 1980s.
Experts say it is a big loss that Ukraine is conducting its counteroffensive against Russian positions without air support.
Russia condemned the decision by Denmark and the Netherlands, saying the move would escalate the conflict.