The United States responded to Russia’s concern that F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine could carry nuclear bombs. Photo/US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lotz
WASHINGTON – Minister of Foreign Affairs Russia Sergei Lavrov said the F-16 fighter jets made in the United States (US) would be sent to Ukraine can be used to carry nuclear weapons.
Washington responded by insisting America does not want nuclear war.
Lavrov’s concerns were expressed at a Russian military base last Monday. “We must remember that one version of the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons,” he said, in a transcript of his speech posted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“If they don’t understand this, they are useless strategists and military planners,” Lavrov continued, though it was unclear whether he meant Ukraine or its Western allies.
“We are a peaceful people. The only thing we want is to be left alone,” said Russia’s top diplomat.
“Europe has chosen the path of war with us,” he added.
One version of the F-16 fighter jet can indeed carry nuclear weapons, but Ukraine does not have such weapons in its arsenal.
Just to note, Ukraine handed over all nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviets to Russia in exchange for security guarantees about 31 years ago.
The US said last month it would allow allied nations to send their fighter jets, though no country has yet made a firm commitment to sending F-16s to Ukraine.