Lavrov Warns Against Delivering Nuclear-Capable F-16s to Ukraine
June 7, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—During a speech in Tajikistan, during a June 5 visit to the 201st Russian Military base in Dushanbe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that some U.S.-made F-16s are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and that supplying them to Kiev will escalate the conflict further.
“We can expect anything from the leaders of the United States and other Western countries whom Washington has brought to its heel. They are proving the truth of this statement now that following the supplies of modern long-range artillery and tanks, they are getting ready, in earnest, to supply the F-16 jets. ... We must keep in mind that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons. If they do not understand this, then they are worthless as military strategists and planners,”
Lavrov said in his remarks. Lavrov also met on June 6 with Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin.
At the White House, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby refused to discuss the nuclear capabilities of the F-16, instead repeating the claim that Biden has been consistent that he does not want to see the war escalate, certainly not into the nuclear realm. “The purpose of providing advanced fighter aircraft is to help Ukraine defend itself, defend its airspace and its territorial integrity period,” Kirby said. Kirby also had a (stupid) message for Lavrov: “If you’re worried about Ukrainian military capabilities, then you should take your troops and leave Ukraine.”
With regard to the F-16s, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told media last night of his visit to Moldova as part of the European Political Community Summit, where he spoke with various leaders who “confirmed their readiness to provide Ukraine with F-16 aircraft: “Our partners know how many aircraft we need. I have already received an understanding of the number from some of our European partners, and it is powerful. ... It was a serious, powerful offer,” Zelenskyy said, in a statement on his website. Kiev now awaits a final agreement with its allies, including “a joint agreement with the United States,” Zelenskyy said. “Now we still need a joint agreement with the United States.”