European leaders must “seriously consider” providing Kyiv with fighter jets, lawmakers in the European Union parliament said in a resolution adopted Thursday.
The resolution marked nearly one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“They reaffirm their support for providing military assistance to Ukraine for as long as is necessary and call for serious consideration to be given to delivering Western fighter jets and helicopters, appropriate missile systems and substantial increases in munitions delivery to Kyiv,” according to a satement.
“Ukraine must not only be able to defend itself, but also to regain full control of its entire internationally recognised territory,” it added.
The resolution, which is non-binding, also calls on the EU to implement a 10th package of sanctions against Moscow by the end of February and to tighten those already in place. Assets seized from Russian oligarchs should be used to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, lawmakers said.
The legislators also urged the European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — and national governments to begin talks with Kyiv this year on Ukraine’s bid for EU membership.
Russian response: The Russian Mission to the EU slammed the parliament’s resolution as a “paragon of disinformation” unsupported by “data, facts or evidence,” in a statement posted on its website.
“Obviously, the resolution is aimed at deliberately misleading the European public and trying to justify the European Union’s course to escalate the Ukrainian conflict and increase sanctions pressure on our country,” the mission said.
Moscow has faced constant diplomatic pressure from the EU, including economic sanctions, since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine.
More background: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took his plea for the supply of Western fighter jets directly to European countries last week, including in a surprise visit to London and at a European Union summit.
Ukrainian pilots will start training on NATO jets in the United Kingdom soon, but it’s unclear how soon allies could make a decision on whether to send the modern fighting planes.
NATO’s secretary general said Tuesday that the question of sending modern fighter jets to Ukraine is “not the most urgent issue” right now, focusing instead on delivering the military support it has already committed to Ukraine.