The training of pilots, however, “should start now,” Dmitry Kuleba says
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. © Getty Images / LightRocket / SOPA Images / Mykola Tys
Kiev will not get Western-made fighter jets “anytime soon,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted during an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag published late on Saturday.
The potential delivery of fighter jets to Kiev to prop it up in its ongoing conflict with Moscow is hindered by assorted technical and logistical issues, Kuleba said. However, he urged that Ukrainian pilots, who are only familiar with Soviet-made aircraft, begin training on the Western planes as soon as possible.
“I don’t expect the delivery of fighter jets to happen anytime soon because it’s a very difficult task logistically and technically. Therefore, we advise that the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western jets should start now, so that when the decision to provide aircraft is made, we do not waste time or many months on training,” he said.
The diplomat also urged Berlin to ramp up deliveries of ammunition to Ukraine, namely artillery shells, claiming that while German industry had already expressed a readiness to provide them, the issue lies with the country’s government.
“We sat down with Ukrainian representatives and the German armaments industry … and German industry, in my presence, asked the German government for one thing: signed contracts,” he stated.