Russia to view F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine as threat in nuclear sphere

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The very fact of Ukraine exploiting F-16 fighter jets that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons will be viewed by Russia as a Western threat in the nuclear sphere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Lenta.ru daily.

“Just one example of an extremely dangerous turn of events is the United States plans to transfer F-16 fighter jets to the Kiev regime,” Lavrov stated. “We have informed the nuclear powers, the United States, Britain and France, that Russia cannot ignore the ability of these aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. No amount of assurances will help here.”

“In the course of combat operations, our servicemen are not going to sort out whether each particular aircraft of this type is equipped to deliver nuclear weapons or not,” he continued. “We will regard the very fact that the Ukrainian armed forces have such systems as a threat from the West in the nuclear sphere.”

The Russian foreign minister pointed out to the fact that “the United States and its NATO satellites are creating risks of a direct armed clash with Russia, and this is fraught with catastrophic consequences.”

“The conditions for Russia’s use of nuclear weapons are clearly defined in our Military Doctrine. They are well known, and I will not repeat them once again,” Lavrov added.

US President Joe Biden told a news conference after the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima on May 21 that the West planned to begin training Ukrainian pilots, including on the use of F-16s. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in turn, said that Washington and its allies would discuss the list of potential countries who could deliver F-16s to Kiev in the next few months.

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