Russia responded strongly after members of the Nato alliance pledged support for Kivy against Moscow’s aggression on the country, striking several cities, while threatening to “send F-16 fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear bombs”.
According to Kiyv, Moscow conducted an aerial assault on Ukraine, resulting in the destruction of 20 Russian attack drones and two cruise missiles.
The capital witnessed major destruction, with four people injured as confirmed by the city’s mayor.
Expressing its displeasure for Western support, Russia declared that it would view the F-16 fighter jets sent to Ukraine as a “nuclear” threat due to their capability to carry atomic bombs.
In a sign of its anger at Western backing for Kyiv, Moscow said it would regard F-16 fighter jets sent to Ukraine as a “nuclear” threat because of their capacity to carry atomic bombs.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasised that Russia could not overlook the potential nuclear capabilities of these aircraft, dismissing any assurances provided by the West.
Taking the lead in a coalition of 11 nations, the Netherlands and Denmark have initiated a plan to train Ukrainian pilots in operating the US fighter jets, following authorisation from Washington.
Since the Russian special military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, such threats have been earlier made.
President Biden’s visit to Helsinki followed the G7 countries’ commitment to support Ukraine until it defeats Russia.
US-Nordic countries cooperation
During his visit, the 80-year-old President is to meet with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, whose country shares a 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border with Russia and abandoned its historical military non-alignment after Russia entered Ukraine.
In addition to Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, Biden will also discuss issues regarding security, environment, and technology with leaders from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland to explore cooperation between the Nordic countries and the US.
This visit was the first time a US president has visited Helsinki since Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin five years ago.
During the Cold War time alliance summit, members apparently disappointed President Volodymyr Zelensky by not providing a clear timeline for Ukraine’s membership in the group, stating that an invitation would only be extended when “certain conditions are met”.
Instead, the G7 nations offered Ukraine a package of long-term security commitments through bilateral agreements with Kyiv and the world’s rich nations.
While speaking at the Nato summit, Joe Biden aimed to display resolve to Putin after his meeting with Zelensky, stating, “we will not waver.”
He emphasised that Putin’s doubts about the determination and unity of the US and its allies were misguided and that their conviction would remain steadfast.
Following the overnight strikes, Yuriy Ignat, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s air forces, highlighted the insufficiency of recently-supplied Western weapon systems to cover the entire country.
Ignat told national television that Ukraine lacked the means to destroy ballistic missiles and that the air force was still gathering information about the consequences of Russia’s Iskander-M ballistic missile launch from occupied Crimea.