The first batch of Ukrainian pilots has completed training to fly F-16 fighter jets in the United States, a National Guard spokesman told RIA Novosti.

“The first set of Ukrainian students have graduated,” he told the agency.

The US has authorised allies to transfer F-16 aircraft to Ukraine and is itself involved in training specialists to pilot and maintain them. The training is taking place in Arizona. In April, a representative of the US Air Force said that 12 Ukrainian pilots were being trained in Arizona.

The Netherlands and Denmark were the first countries to agree to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. The White House confirmed that Ukraine would receive the combat aircraft from third countries after the training of its pilots is completed. The head of the Dutch Defence Ministry, Kajsa Ollongren, said that The Hague expects to send Kiev the first F-16 fighter jets in 2024. As the Russian ambassador to The Hague, Aleksandr Shulgin, noted earlier, the Dutch “turn a blind eye” to the fact that supplying their F-16 fighter jets to Kiev will lead to a prolongation of the conflict in Ukraine and more suffering of its citizens.

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