Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Wednesday that he “wouldn’t care” if Ukraine used American-made F-16s to strike Russian territory despite the risk of such an attack escalating into a direct clash between the US and Russia.
When asked by Epoch Times reporter Liam Cosgrove if he was concerned about the potential of Ukraine using F-16s to hit targets inside Russia, Nadler said, “No, I’m not concerned. I wouldn’t care if they did.”
Nadler said it was unlikely Ukraine would use F-16s to attack Russian territory, but Cosgrove pointed out that US-made armored vehicles were used in a cross-border raid in Russia’s Belgorod region that was launched on Monday.
“That may be, but they’re not gonna use major weapons. Things like F-16s, they need for air defense over Ukraine so that they can provide air cover for their counterattack and things like that. They’re not gonna waste it in Russia,” Nadler said.
So far, there’s no clear timeline for when the F-16s will be delivered to Ukraine. President Biden signed off on European countries delivering the Lockheed Martin-made aircraft, but Ukrainian pilots still need to be trained, and estimates for how long that will take vary from a few months to up to two years.
Russia has said providing Ukraine with F-16s brings “colossal risks,” a warning brushed off by President Biden. In the early days of the war, NATO chose not to provide Kyiv with fighter jets over concerns Moscow would perceive the move as the alliance directly entering the war.