Lavrov: No Choice But To Treat F-16s In Ukraine As Nuclear Threat

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reaffirmed while at the NATO summit in Vilnius that there "will be the transfer of F-16s [to Ukraine], likely from European countries that have excess F-16 supplies".

Russian Foreign Minister hit back at the confirmation that advanced Western fighter jets will soon make their way to Ukraine, after the allies complete the first wave of training for Ukrainian pilots, which could take considerable time. "Moscow can’t ignore the nuclear capability of US-designed F-16 fighter jets that may be supplied to Ukraine by its Western backers," Lavrov said, per Russian media. He went so far as to say that it will be seen as a threat from the West "in the nuclear domain."

lavrov no choice but to treat f 16s in ukraine as nuclear threat
The F-16 can carry the B-61 tactical nuclear bomb.

In giving such advanced systems to Kiev, "the US and its NATO satellites create the risk of a direct armed confrontation with Russia, and this may lead to catastrophic consequences," Lavrov warned an interview Wednesday. He called the F-16s in particular "an extremely dangerous development."

According to more, wherein he mentioned the operability of the F-16s and their ability to carry tactical nuclear weapons

"We have informed the nuclear powers – the US, UK and France – that Russia can’t ignore the ability of these aircraft to carry nuclear weapons," the foreign minister continued.

"No assurances [by the West] will help here," he warned. In the midst of fighting, the Russian military isn’t going to investigate whether any specific jet is equipped to deliver nuclear weapons or not, he added.

"The very fact of the appearance of such systems within the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be considered by us as a threat from the West in the nuclear domain," Lavrov said. 

Previously, in June comments Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the West's F-16s "will burn" soon after they appear on the battlefield, after also vowing to target all other NATO arms in the conflict. 

The Ukrainians have continued pressing their more powerful backers to provide air superiority, saying that without jets all other weaponry such as tanks become exposed. This as a consensus has emerged on the much-vaunted counteroffensive and its slowness, or even outright failure at this point.

Authored by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge July 13th 2023