Ukraine pushes for Western fighter jets after tank deals

FILE - A Leopard 1 tank drives in Storkau, Germany, on May 19, 2000. Ukraine may be able to add old Leopard 1 battle tanks from German defense industry stocks to deliveries of modern tanks that Germany and other governments pledged last week. German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit confirmed Friday that “export authorization has been granted”. (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz, File)

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine won support Tuesday from Baltic nations and Poland in its quest to obtain Western fighter jets, but there were no signs that larger nations like the U.S. and Britain have changed their stance of refusing to provide the warplanes to Kyiv after almost a year of battling Russia’s invading forces. 

Several Western leaders have expressed concern that providing warplanes could escalate the nearly year-long conflict and draw them deeper into the war. Such fighter jets would offer Ukraine a major boost, but countering Russia’s massive air force would still be a major challenge. 

Asked Monday if his administration was considering sending Ukraine F-16 fighter jets, U.S. President Joe Biden responded, “No.”