Russia on Wednesday sent warnings to the UK about the “military and political consequences” of sending fighter jets to Ukraine. The threats from Kremlin came in the backdrop of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to Britain, where he requested Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the MPs to supply Ukrainian fighter pilots with warplanes to defend the Ukrainian territories.
Sunak-led administration pledged more military equipment to give Ukraine’s forces the upper hand on the battlefield and curb Russia’s ability to target civilian infrastructure. The British government unveiled plans to expand the training for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to sea and air, including fighter jet pilots and marines, as part of long-term investment in Kyiv’s military.
Responding to the prospects of sending the fighter jets to Kyiv, the Russian Embassy in London said in a statement that if the UK and its allies send the warplanes to Ukraine “there would be military and political consequences for the European continent and the entire world”. Russia, warned the embassy, will “find something to respond to any unfriendly steps taken” by Britain.
“We would like to remind official London: it is on its conscience that in such a scenario there will be a ‘bloody harvest’ of the next round of escalation, as well as the military-political consequences arising from this for the European continent and the whole world,” the Russian embassy’s statement read.
UK clarifies ‘nothing off the table’
UK PM Sunak hasn’t completely ruled out sending the fighter jets to Ukraine’s Air Force, as he earlier said that “nothing is off the table” speaking alongside visiting Ukrainian leader Zelenskyy at a joint press conference.
The embattled country’s head of state urged the allies to send combat aircraft to Ukraine and deliver “wings for freedom” for his forces. “I appeal to you and the world, for combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom,” he said.In an effort to bolster the UK’s training offer for Ukrainian troops, under which the Sunak administration prepared 10,000 troops for battle, Britain is now expanding the training to fighter jet pilots for ally Ukraine to defend its skies.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin said in televised remarks, appearing on Putin’s mouthpiece Vladimir Solovyov’s show that UK’s plans of sending more long-range missile systems and artillery weapons or fighter jets will only exacerbate the conflict. “It has also been announced (in the UK) that some missile or artillery weapons with a longer range will be supplied.
Here it is still unclear, we are trying to clarify what it is, what it is about, whether there are such weapons at all there,” Kelin said. The latter declared that such moves on part of Zelenskyy is “further escalation, further aggravation of the conflict” as it will be used to bombard the Donbass region.