U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday said he had received a “flat assurance” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would not use Western-provided F-16 fighter jets to go into Russian territory.
Biden told reporters in Hiroshima, Japan, at the conclusion of a meeting of world leaders that F-16 warplanes could be used “wherever Russian troops are within Ukraine and the area”.
He said it was “highly unlikely” the planes would be used in any Ukrainian offensive in the coming weeks, but that Ukrainian troops could need such weapons to defend themselves against Russian forces beyond their current reach.
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies on Sunday said they would not back down from supporting Ukraine, in a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he claimed to have taken the eastern city of Bakhmut, something Kyiv denied.
Biden announced a $375 million package of military aid, including artillery and armoured vehicles, for Ukraine during the final day of a three-day G7 summit.