Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in London to make the case for supplying Ukraine with fighter jets.
“I appeal to you and the world with simple yet most important words,” Ukraine’s President told a joint session of Parliament on Wednesday. “Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”
To further cement the point, Zelenskyy presented the speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, with the helmet of one of the top pilots in Ukraine’s air force, emblazoned with the message, “We have freedom; give us wings to protect it.”
“London has stood with Kyiv from Day 1,” added the Ukrainian Leader. “We know that freedom will win.”
While former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expedited the delivery of weapons to Ukraine immediately after Russia’s invasion, London has followed Washington in limiting the sale of fighter jets and heavy aircraft artillery, though both Western powers took new tones toward the issue on Wednesday.
“When it comes to fighter combat aircraft, of course they are part of the conversation,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters upon greeting Ukraine’s president. “Nothing is off the table.”
“At every step along the way, as needs have evolved, so too has what we have provided Ukraine,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters in Washington when asked about sending planes. “And that most recently took place with the decision to provide the Abrams tanks, and of course Germany providing the Leopard tanks and other Europeans doing the same.”
“This is an evolving process, and we will continue to make judgments about what we think Ukraine needs and what we think it can be most effective in using,” added Blinken.