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Ukraine's envoy says Kyiv hasn't asked Germany for jets, yet

Wesley Dockery
January 30, 2023

Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiev told DW that fighter jets are important, but took pressure off Chancellor Olaf Scholz to agree to immediate deliveries.

Eurofighter jets conduct an aerial exercise near a base in Lask, central Poland
The Eurofighter is used by Germany and other European NATO partnersImage: Radoslaw Jozwiak/AFP/Getty Images

Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiev told DW Monday that there was no official demand from Kyiv to Berlin to provide fighter jets from Germany, despite some voices in Kyiv calling for warplanes.

"We didn't put any request to Germany about fighter jets yet," Makeiev said.

When asked if such a request would come in the future, the envoy said it would "depend on the situation on the battlefield." 

"Russia launches a lot of missiles towards Ukrainian cities, towards infrastructure, and the jets are part of our air defense efforts," the Ukrainian ambassador said. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled out any possible deliveries of fighter jets to Ukraine, as he believes it could lead to a wider conflict between NATO and Russia.

Although Germany is reluctant to send jets, the Dutch government has said it would consider sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine if the country's government makes a request, according to a report in the NL Times.

Greek F-16 jets take part in a military flyover in Thessaloniki
Ukraine is particularly interested in the F-16 jet, which is developed by the Lockheed Martin Corporation Image: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

The US, Ukraine's key backer, remains tight-lipped on sending F-16s to the country.  

Makeiev outlines goals, dismisses demands for submarines

"My priorities as ambassador here from the very beginning were armored vehicles, main battle tanks and air defense systems, and artillery units. And we are progressing very good on all priorities," Makeiev said. He added that Ukraine will continue talking to the German government on those four priorities.  

He also contradicted a recent request by his outspoken predecessor, Andrij Melnyk, who during the weekend called on Germany to supply submarines.

"We don't need submarines and cruisers and other UFOs from Germany," Makeiev said. 

Ambassador: Ukraine has not yet asked Germany for jets

Melnyk, who is now Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, tweeted Saturday that the "world's best" submarines could be used to "kick Russia's fleet out of the Black Sea."   

West must hasten weapons decisions, Makeiev says

The push for jets comes after Germany caved into public pressure and greenlit the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, following weeks of deliberations.

Makeiev said Western nations need to speed up their decisions on helping Ukraine, as lives hang in the balance.

"Every day we are discussing and debating here internally or negotiating the rules of engagement with partners, Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians die," Makeiev said. He said it's important that the dialogue regarding security aid is "being held promptly and that we get supplies of weapons and munitions as soon as possible."

He also vowed to take back all of Ukraine's territory from Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula

He said the president, armed forces, and people of Ukraine have "no other option as to liberate Ukrainian territory completely and drive Russian forces back to Russia out of southern and eastern Ukraine and Crimea."    

This is an updated version of a previous article.

This interview was conducted by DW Chief International Editor Richard Walker

Edited by: Darko Janjevic

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