President Biden hosted Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark on the White Home on Monday to debate safety initiatives, together with offering army help to Ukraine, amid studies that Kyiv may be stepping up its long-planned counteroffensive towards Russian forces.
One of many most important dialogue matters between Mr. Biden and Ms. Frederiksen, based on the White Home, concerned Ukraine’s demand for American-made F-16 warplanes. In late Could, and after months of resisting mounting stress to supply the planes out of worry they might be used to hit Russian territory, Mr. Biden agreed to allow for pilots to be skilled to function the plane and for allied international locations to produce them.
Denmark is one in all a number of international locations whose leaders have signaled that they’d be open to both switch F-16s from their very own stockpiles or present pilot coaching. Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway have also indicated that they’d be prepared to assist.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden will host Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, one other key NATO ally who has been vocal about the necessity to arm Kyiv. In February, Mr. Sunak mentioned that “nothing was off the desk” when it got here to contemplating army help for Ukraine.
Why It Issues: Combating has intensified as Ukraine heads to Russia’s entrance strains.
For the previous 16 months, Mr. Biden has helped hold key Western allies of the US in settlement over the necessity to present help to Kyiv, despite softening domestic support for the struggle and amid conflicting opinions amongst different leaders about how finest to arm Ukraine.
Now, as Ukrainian troopers step up their artillery strikes and floor assaults towards Russia’s entrance strains, the West once more finds itself at a pivotal level by which allies might want to transfer ahead in lock step.
John F. Kirby, a White Home spokesman, informed reporters on Monday that he couldn’t say whether or not the Ukrainian counteroffensive had formally began, however he added that the Biden administration had accomplished all it might to supply help to get Kyiv prepared.
“The president is assured that we did every little thing we might over the previous six, eight months or extra to make it possible for that they had all of the gear, coaching or capabilities,” Mr. Kirby mentioned.
On Monday, the timeline for supply of F-16s nonetheless remained unclear. Mr. Biden has known as it “extremely unlikely” that the F-16s can be a part of the counteroffensive that Ukraine deliberate over the previous a number of months.