Russia warns the West over sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine: "Enormous risks"

The Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Grushko, issued the warning in an interview with a local news agency.

At the G7 summit this weekend, President Joe Biden agreed to the long-awaited shipment of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. This had been a long-standing request of Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelensky, who also attended the meeting in Japan. Of course, the news did not go down well with Russia, which quickly took matters into its own hands. Through a senior official, they warned the West about the future consequences of this shipment.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko spoke to a local news network after the news broke. "We can see that Western countries continue to stick to an escalation scenario, which carries enormous risks for them. In any case, we will take it into account when making plans. We have all the necessary means to achieve our goals," he said.

On the other side, Zelensky celebrated the G7 decision through a tweet, in which he assured it would be a great addition to defend their airspace. He added that he expected to discuss "the practical implementation of this decision" during the summit.

"I welcome the historic decision of the United States and POTUS to support an international fighter jet coalition. This will greatly enhance our army in the sky. I count on discussing the practical implementation of this decision at the #G7 summit in Hiroshima," the president wrote on Twitter.

As for the President of the United States, he had, up until now, flatly refused to send these aircraft to Ukraine. His position has changed substantially in recent months, as Jack Sullivan, White House national security advisor, made known.

"As the training unfolds in the coming months, we will work with our allies to determine when planes will be delivered, who will be delivering them, and how many," Sullivan commented during the summit.

In addition to insistence from the Ukrainian side, Biden had also received pressure from within. A bipartisan group of senators led by Mark Kelly (D-AZ) sent the head of state a letter. According to the message, the dispatch of F-16-type aircraft could be "revolutionary" for Ukrainian forces. His request was joined by Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-ILL) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), as well as Republicans Tommy Turberville (R-AL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ted Budd (R-NC), newly elected in 2022.