Ukraine will receive F-16 fighter jets before the end of the year, John Kirby, US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, said in an interview with Fox News.
"Most likely, the F-16s will arrive in Ukraine before the end of the year. However, we do not believe that F-16s alone can alter the situation on the battlefield," Kirby said.
He added that Ukraine has an immediate need for a greater quantity of artillery munitions.
A week ago, Lieutenant General Douglas Sims said that conditions for a transfer of F-16s are not "ideal." He stressed that Russians still have air defense capability, hinting that the number of jets that can arrive will not change the course of the counteroffensive.
At the Vilnius NATO summit, Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov signed a memorandum with 11 countries outlining the F-16 training terms for Ukrainian pilots.
Russian prime minister Sergey Lavrov called the potential transfer of the jets to Ukraine "a nuclear threat," highlighting their capacity for carrying nuclear weapons.