Greece has offered to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 warplanes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during an official visit to Athens Monday.
“Today we have an important result for the air coalition: Greece will take part in training our pilots on F-16s. Thank you for this offer,” Zelensky said, along side Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during statements to the media.
Kyiv on Friday welcomed a US decision to let Denmark and the Netherlands hand F-16 fighter jets over to Ukraine once its pilots are trained to use them.
Training by an 11-nation coalition is to begin this month, and officials hope pilots will be ready by early 2024.
Zelensky’s visit to Athens coincided with an informal dinner hosted by Mitsotakis with Balkan leaders, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel.
The Greek PM’s office said the gathering marks the twentieth anniversary of the 2003 Thessaloniki summit confirming the European perspective of Western Balkan states.
The Ukrainian president had earlier posted on Telegram that he would hold a joint meeting and separate talks on bilateral issues with the Balkan leaders, and also meet with the European Commission president.