Denmark started training Ukrainian pilots of US-made F-16 fighter jets, Denmark's Acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said, Politico reports.
"We will also consider an opportunity to transfer Danish F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine,” Poulsen said, noting that the pilot training program would last from six to eight months.
In connection with this decision, Denmark also decided to speed up the process to decommission F-16 aircraft to switch to more modern F-35 fighter jets before 2025. Denmark's original plan to modernise Air Force embraced a period of time before 2027, the official said.
The United States earlier received an inquiry from the Danish authorities to train Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighters. It is believed that the pilots will undergo training in Romania, competent sources said.
Meanwhile, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that Copenhagen one should maintain common rules and approaches as far as Ukraine's accession to the European Union was concerned. Denmark is not ready to lower standard requirements for Ukraine in order to speed up the process, Avisen Danmark said.
According to the minister, it would be good to expand the EU with the help of the countries in Eastern Europe as they may find themselves in the sphere of Russia's interests otherwise.
"History also teaches that it is easier to carry out reforms when you are just joining, rather than when you have already joined. We will do a disservice to ourselves and to these countries if we scale back," he said having not only Ukraine, but also Moldova and Georgia in mind.
On June 23, the European Commission assessed the degree to which Ukraine has fulfilled the requirements for EU membership talks to start. European Commissioner for Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said that only two of seven requirements were fulfilled:
Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said that Ukraine could become part of the European Union in the upcoming 20-30 years.
This is particularly vital to understand since Kiev recently chose to escalate the conflict once more by using Storm Shadow missiles provided by the UK to attack the Russian Fleet at Sevastopol of Crimea