Selangor Journal
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on climate change and renewable energy at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts, US, on July 20, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

Biden says US would not provide Ukraine with F-16s, France, Australia to supply thousands of artillery shells

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 — President Joe Biden said Monday that the US will not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

According to Anadolu Agency, Biden answered with a brief “no” when asked by reporters on the South Lawn of the White House if he was in favour of sending the jets.

His statement came amid growing calls from Kyiv for US-made F-16s after Washington and Berlin announced the sending of battle tanks to help the country defend itself against Russia.

Meanwhile, France and Australia agreed Monday to jointly produce and ship several thousand 155-millimetre artillery shells to Ukraine in a bid to meet Kyiv’s “urgent demand.”

In a joint statement issued following the second Australia-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations held in Paris, the two countries expressed their shared commitment to Ukraine’s security amid Russia’s war.

Anadolu Agency reported French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong and French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Australian counterpart Richard Marles reiterated their firm stance to continue to support Ukraine.

“Ministers announced their intent to provide support to Ukraine including through the joint supply of 155-millimetre ammunition. The initiative leverages the complementarities of the respective defence industries and meets Ukraine’s urgent need for 155-millimetre ammunition,” said the statement.

The two countries also agreed on the commitment to restore “a dynamic bilateral relationship” founded on trust and shared interests in line with the priorities agreed by the two countries’ leaderships last year.

On July 1, 2022, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in an effort to mend ties after tensions over a scrapped submarine deal last year.

Australia in 2021 cancelled a multi-billion-dollar contract with a French firm to build 12 diesel-powered submarines in favour of AUKUS, a new defence pact with the US and UK.

— Bernama

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