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Biden says Zelenskyy gave a 'flat assurance' that F-16s fighter jets wouldn't attack Russian territory as drastic policy shift takes shape

U.S. President Joe Biden listens as G7 leaders participate in an event on global infrastructure and investment during the G7 Summit on May 20, 2023 in Hiroshima, Japan.
U.S. President Joe Biden listens as G7 leaders participate in an event on global infrastructure and investment during the G7 Summit on May 20, 2023 in Hiroshima, Japan.Susan Walsh - Pool/Getty Images
  • President Biden said he received "flat assurance" that Ukraine would not use F-16s to enter Russia.

  • The US president also announced another $375 million in military assistance to Ukraine.

  • "Vladimir Putin will not break our resolve," Biden said at the G7 summit press conference on Sunday.

President Joe Biden said he received "flat assurance" from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Ukraine would not use F-16 fighter jets to attack Russian territory.

"I have a flat assurance from Zelensky that they will not, will not, use it to go into Russian geographic territory," Biden told reporters at the end of the annual G7 summit in Japan on Sunday, according to The Washington Post.

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It's the latest development marking a drastic shift by US President Joe Biden and US officials, who have long rejected authorizing F-16s in Ukraine.

In February, Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, portrayed supplying F-16s to Ukraine as unfeasible.

But on Friday, the US authorized Western allies to provide F-16 jets to Ukraine to defend itself, assist in training pilots, and possibly send fighter jets from American stockpiles, Insider previously reported.

Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the UK and the Netherlands would build an "international coalition" to help the country procure the fighter jets.

Ukraine sees the F-16s as indispensable to their cause, a defense expert recently told Insider.

Two US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons
Two US Air Force F-16 Fighting FalconsUS Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lotz

The US president also announced another $375 million in military assistance to Ukraine to help support its long-running and bloody battle with Putin's regime.

Biden said at a press conference in Hiroshima that "Vladimir Putin will not break our resolve" and reiterated the G7 countries' "shared and unwavering commitment to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia's brutal war of aggression and the war crimes being committed."

Zelenskyy appeared at the conference, the first in-person since Russia's invasion, in an appeal to seek more aid for the country, Insider reported.

"I am here in Hiroshima so the world can hear the Ukrainian call for unity. Russia has trampled on everything that is civilized," Zelenskyy said at the summit on Sunday.

Read the original article on Business Insider