Europe is building an international alliance to supply Kiev with F16 fighter jets


A year after Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe, the leaders of the 46 member states of the organization launched a “damage record” resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with a British-Dutch agreement to build an “international coalition” to help Ukraine obtain F16 fighter jets.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Georgia Meloni chair the summit in the Capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, with dozens of European leaders participated.

The meeting seeks to show unity in support of Ukraine at a time when Kiev completes its preparations for an anticipated counterattack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a video message at the opening of the meeting, called on the old continent to preserve its unity to preserve freedom.

Days before the G7 summit, Zelensky again called on the West to supply fighter jets to his country.

The Ukrainian president stressed that without these planes, “no air defenses will be complete,” and confirmed that “one hundred percent” of the Russian missiles that were fired at Ukrainian territory between Monday and Tuesday were intercepted, contrary to what Moscow announced.

After London and Paris announced training for pilots on combat aircraft, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte announced that they intend to build an “international coalition” to help Ukraine obtain F16 fighter jets.

A statement from the British government’s presidency indicated that the two men agreed, at the meeting held on the occasion of a summit of the Council of Europe in Iceland, to “work together to build an international coalition to provide Ukraine with air combat capabilities starting with training and ending with the delivery of F16 fighters”.

The summit is the fourth for the organization that was founded 75 years ago.

It aims to multiply the means to hold Russia criminally accountable for the destruction and crimes committed in the context of its invasion of Ukraine, with the possibility of referring it to an international court.

Iceland, which holds the presidency of the Council of Europe, lacks an army and has therefore sought to provide Ukraine with a legal arsenal because it could not be supplied with weapons.

Upon his arrival to the summit, Macron said, “It’s really a legal mobilization that allows us to move forward in terms of rights and the fight against impunity”.

Macron proposed building hundreds of mental health centers in Ukraine, with the money of a Council of Europe bank with more than one billion Euros in resources, according to the Elysee.

According to the German Chancellor, preparing European countries a record of war damage will play a central role in terms of punishing the Russian invaders and holding them accountable for the war crimes they committed and the enormous damage that Russia causes to Ukraine day after day.

In light of Moscow’s threats to prolong the war despite the heavy losses it incurred, Europe seeks to show its unity and solidarity with Kiev, whatever the outcome of this seemingly difficult counterattack against fortified Russian positions.

Kiev is apprehensive that it will find itself under pressure from its allies to negotiate with Moscow if it doesn’t achieve the expected military successes quickly.

On Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “We won’t take any steps” on Ukraine without Ukraine’s participation.

The Council of Europe expelled Russia in March 2022 as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, but Moscow was preparing to leave the organization anyway.

The legal space of the Council of Europe includes the 27 European Union countries and about 20 other countries, including Türkiye and the United Kingdom.

The organization is best known for its court known as the European Court of Human Rights.

Despite the apparent unity of the Council of Europe, the organization is not immune to fault lines.

The Reykjavik Seal, for example, brings together two conflicting countries, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

As for the United Kingdom, it is constantly critical of the European Court of Human Rights, considering it a major obstacle to enabling it to tighten immigration policy.

Upon his arrival at the summit, Sunak again called for court reform and defended his country’s right to stop boats of migrants arriving in its lands across the English Channel.

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