Zelensky lands at Danish air force base: AFP journalists

AFP , Sunday 20 Aug 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed Sunday at an air force base in southern Denmark, two days after Washington approved the transfer of US-made F-16 fighter jets by Denmark and the Netherlands to Kyiv.

Zelensky Danish airbase
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, and Denmark s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen sit in a F-16 fighter jet at Skrydstrup Airbase, in Vojens, Denmark, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. AP


After an earlier visit in the day to the Netherlands, where Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte approved the delivery of the jets, Zelensky arrived at Skrydstrup at around 4:30 pm (1430 GMT), AFP journalists saw.

He was greeted by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Defence Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

The visit will see them examine the F-16s and talk about the start of Ukrainian pilot training, the Danish premier's office said.

"Denmark fully supports Ukraine and is ready" to do so "for as long as necessary," Frederiksen said in a statement ahead of Zelensky's arrival and a joint press conference later Sunday.

"We are moving forward in the F-16 issue," Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging site, adding that "We are preparing additional good news for Ukrainian warriors".

He earlier hailed as "historic" the decision for the Netherlands and Denmark to hand over F-16 planes to Kyiv, as it seeks to increase its firepower from allies in its counteroffensive against Russia.

The Danish defence minister, in a statement, voiced pride that his country and the Netherlands were donating the fighter planes "to the fight for Ukraine's freedom against Russia and its senseless aggression".

"Denmark's support for Ukraine is unwavering and with the donation of F-16 planes, Denmark is showing the way forward," Ellemann-Jensen added.

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