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Rishi Sunak hails F-16 fighter jet ‘breakthrough’ and insists ‘any peace settlement must be on Ukraine’s terms’

Rishi Sunak hails F-16 fighter jet ‘breakthrough’ and insists ‘any peace settlement must be on Ukraine’s terms’

Rishi Sunak hailed the “international coalition to provide” Ukraine with crucial F-16 fighter jets on the final day of the G7 summit in Japan.

Speaking in Hiroshima, the Prime Minister said the leaders had reached a “pivotal moment” for peace and democracy.

Adding: “We will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes because their security is our security.

“We have made a real breakthrough at this summit, thanks to President Biden’s support for an international coalition to provide F-16 jets.”

“We leave Hiroshima more united than ever,” he said before conluding: “Any peace settlement must be on Ukraine’s terms.”

US President Joe Biden informed allies that he will support the transfer of the advanced jets to Ukraine as Russia’s brutal invasion continues.

Russia, however, warned the West that supplying the powerful jets to Ukraine would incur “colossal risks”.

Rishi Sunak and Volodymyr Zelensky meet during the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Rishi Sunak and Volodymyr Zelensky meet during the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Grushko accused Western countries of “continuing along the path of escalation” over the jets.

Western allies, however, hope training on the F-16 jets will begin in the coming weeks as Ukraine prepares to launch its summer offensive.

G7 leaders also vowed to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” and to increase the costs to Russia and those who support its war.

“Russia’s brutal war of aggression represents a threat to the whole world in breach of fundamental norms, rules and principles of the international community,” the group said.

“We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, who has long called for fighter jets, held two major rounds of meetings Sunday, one with G7 leaders and a second with them and a host of invited guests including India, South Korea and Brazil. He also held one-on-one talks with several of the leaders.

Mr Biden announced a new military aid package worth $375million (£301million) for Ukraine during his meeting with Mr Zelensky, saying the US would provide ammunition and armored vehicles.

"We have Ukraine's back and we're not going anywhere," Mr Biden said. The Ukrainian president later thanked Mr Biden for the support, adding that "we will never forget."