Denmark Says Ukraine Can Strike Targets In Russia With Danish-Supplied F-16s

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 08:40 PM

A month ago, the Danish ambassador to Ukraine vowed that Kiev would receive F-16 fighter jets from Denmark this summer. "Don't worry; there will definitely be airplanes for Ukraine," Ambassador Ole Egberg Mikkelsen told Ukrainian media at the time. As of 2023, Denmark had 44 total F-16AM and F-16BM fighters, and intended to decommission its entire fleet, in a plan that would see all of them in the end transferred to Ukraine.

But already, at the start of the summer when the aircraft are being prepped for delivery, Denmark is signaling further escalation against Russia. Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen on Thursday announced that Ukraine is authorized to use Danish-supplied F-16 fighter jets to strike targets inside of Russia territory.

Via Reuters

Rasmussen was fielding questions by reporters in Brussels and was asked whether his government would greenlight this. "The short answer is yes," Rasmussen responded.

"This is not a new position, it is part of the transfer. We made it clear from the very beginning when we discussed this with our Foreign Affairs Committee in the Danish Parliament that this is part of self-defense so that it would also be possible to attack military targets on the aggressor's territory," the Danish foreign minister explained.

Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands are among other NATO allies who have pledged their US-made F-16s to Ukraine as well, pending an ongoing training program for Ukrainian pilots - part of which is taking place in the US. Belgium, for example, will deliver 30 total aircraft and recent reports have indicated deliveries could start "within weeks".

While the policy could change, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo at the start of this week stipulated that the jets it gives Ukraine can only be used against Russia within Ukrainian territory.

"Everything which is covered by this agreement is very clear: it is for utilization by the Ukrainian defense forces on Ukraine territory," De Croo said in response to a journalist's question. President Zelensky was in Brussels to sign a defense pact with the Belgian government worth nearly €1 billion.

On the same day, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged Western allies to allow Ukraine to use externally supplied weapons to attack inside Russia. "According with the law of war, it is perfectly possible and there is no contradiction," Borrell said.

"I could retaliate, or I could fight against the one who fights against me from his territory," Borrell told a meeting of EU defense ministers. "You have to balance the risk of escalation and the need for Ukrainians to defend."

Of course, he didn't mention the part about severely upping the ante of nuclear-armed confrontation with Russia or the possibility of sparking WW3. 

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Meanwhile some Russian military analysis channels are currently claiming that Western-supplied F-16s are already in combat over the skies of Ukraine...