Published: 2023-05-20 11:18
Last Updated: 2023-06-02 00:26
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima for talks with the G7 Saturday, after winning long-sought access to advanced US fighter jets and training for Kyiv's pilots, AFP reported.
Zelensky's surprise summit appearance -- he had previously been expected to appear by video -- came after he welcomed a "historic" White House decision to allow Ukraine to get F-16 jets.
Until now US President Joe Biden had effectively vetoed the transfer of F-16s, with US officials citing long pilot training times and the risk of escalating the 15-month-old conflict with Russia.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan insisted there was no about-turn in US policy but the decision was based on the "exigencies of the conflict".
"F-16s, fourth-generation fighter aircraft, are part of that mix," he said, adding that Ukraine had committed to not use US military equipment to hit targets inside Russia.