The training of Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16 fighter jets is “necessary,” Poland’s President Andrzej Duda told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
The Polish president said he believes that Ukraine’s armed forces will want to be “up to the NATO standard” and therefore will want to use F-16 fighter jets.
“The training of Ukraine in pilots is important and it is quite necessary,” Duda said.
In the US: The United States is working with Ukrainian pilots in the US to determine how long it would take to train them to fly F-16 fighter jets, three sources briefed on the matter told CNN. Two Ukrainian pilots are currently at a military base in the US having their skills tested in flight simulators to see how much time they would need to learn to fly various US military aircraft, including F-16s.
Duda is also in Abu Dhabi on Poland’s first bilateral visit in 13 years to warn Emirati leaders of Russian propaganda and to relay how the situation in Ukraine looks from his "very close perspective.”
More than a year since Russia launched its war on Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates' wider policy — as is the case with much of the Middle East — is one of neutrality. Energy-rich Gulf states have benefited from the rise in prices brought by the war in Ukraine, which has added tens of billions of dollars to their coffers, while Russia continues finding financial escape routes into UAE markets.
“I'm convincing them to be very sensitive to Russian propaganda,” Duda said about his meetings with Emirati leaders.