Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson reiterated his country’s turndown on Tuesday to shoot its JAS Gripen fighter spurts to Ukraine, despite the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell hoping for speedy delivery.
Jonson declared that there are no plans to deliver Swedish SAAB Jas Gripen aircraft to Ukraine as it's a matter of public security.
“ The bones we have, we need them to cover Sweden. We don't have a fat of Gripen aircraft, ” Jonson said.
“ This has to do with the fact that Russia is now greatly weakened when it comes to ground forces, but when it comes to nonmilitary and air forces, they're nearly complete. So we've no aeroplanes
to spare, ” Jonson added on his way to a meeting in Brussels.
On training Ukrainian aviators, Jonson was doubtful whether Sweden could contribute.
“ We ’ll have to look into that in that case, but the base should be that you should train on the platform on which you'll also operate, ” said Jonson, therefore making clear that transferring Swedish fighter spurts isn't presently on the table.
Still, he didn't oppose the principle of Ukraine having access to fighter spurts, which he called “ natural ”.
Since Russia’s war against Ukraine started, Sweden has contributed military aid worth SEK 17 billion(€1.6 billion) and philanthropic backing worth another five billion(€ 469 million).
As for the munitions Sweden has helped Ukraine with include the Archer ordnance system, the Leopard 2 tank, the “ 90 ” armoured vehicle and the Carl Gustaf grenade launcher.
Jonson’s affirmations happed in a environment of a wider transnational discussion regarding the delivery of F- 16 fighters to Ukraine, which Borrell hopes will be soon.
“ In the morning, everyone is reluctant, but in the end, the opinions to support will be made, ” Borrell said as he was on his way to meet EU defence ministers in Brussels Tuesday.
“ It'll take time, but the sooner, the better. It opens the way for the delivery of spurts, ” he added.( Charles Szumski|EURACTIV.com)