National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that F-16 fighter jets – which have been requested by Ukraine – "are not the key capability" for the country's current needs, which is a counteroffensive against Russian forces in his interview with CNN, APA reports.
"F-16s are not a question for the short-term fight. F-16s are a question for the long-term defense of Ukraine, and that's a conversation that President Biden and President Zelensky had," Sullivan said.
The most glaring difference between Biden and Zelensky lies in the kind of weapons the US president is willing to provide. The government in Kyiv is ratcheting up its campaign for the West to send F-16 jets and is now getting increasing buy-in from some influential bipartisan members of Congress.
Biden has so far declined to agree to the request, which gets to the heart of a dilemma that defines his war strategy: How far to go to help Kyiv win while avoiding a direct clash between the West and Russia.