Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he feels “positive” about the prospect of Western allies providing Kyiv with more fighter jets.
Zelensky spoke at a brief press conference alongside Rishi Sunak after the two leaders met at the British prime minister’s country retreat Chequers on Monday.
“Today we talked about the jets – a very important topic for us,” Zelensky said. “We want to create this jet coalition and I’m very positive about it. We spoke about it. And I see that in the closest time you will hear some, I think, very important decisions, but we have to work a little bit more about it.”
However, Sunak struck a more cautious tone. “We are going to be a key part of the coalition of countries that provides that support to Volodymr and Ukraine. It is not a straightforward thing … to build up that fighter combat aircraft capability," he said.
Sunak announced in February that the UK would start training Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard fighter jets.
Slow progress: For months, Ukraine has made pleas to its Western allies to supply more military hardware. More than just ammunition and artillery, Ukraine wants tanks and jets.
In January, Ukraine secured a major breakthrough after Germany announced it would permit the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to aid the country's defense efforts. The United States also pledged to send Abrams tanks.
However, Monday's discussion of a fighter jet "coalition" shows that Ukraine has not abandoned its demands -- and that its allies are still listening.