MEHR: US President Joe Biden revealed on Monday that Washington would not be providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in its future military aid packages.
The American president's remarks came as he spoke to reporters on the White House South Lawn, moments after he returned from an event in Baltimore, Maryland.
Asked whether F-16s were Ukraine-bound in upcoming military aid packages, Biden replied to reporters' question with a simple "no." He also indicated that he intends to visit Poland but remains unsure as to when that trip will take place.
Ukraine has been calling on the Biden administration and congressional lawmakers to provide F-16 jets in order to bolster the regime's forces amid Russia's ongoing special military operation.
Hours after Biden spoke to reporters, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby explained that the reasoning behind the move was because "there's a lot of capability that is being sent, and will be sent in the coming weeks and months" to Ukraine.
"The kinds of capabilities that we know will be critical to helping Ukrainians again in the fighting now in the wintertime, as well as the kind of fighting that we expect that they're going to be doing in the spring," he added.
Amid reports of the US' Abrams deliveries, talk of potentially sending F-16s to Ukraine gained strong momentum in Washington over the last several weeks. In fact, US media earlier reported a group of US military officials had been working behind the scenes to lobby for the shipment.
However, experts have noted F-16 jets in Ukraine carried more of a domestic propaganda quality, as opposed to actually helping Ukrainian forces amid hostilities.
“F-16s to Ukraine function only as domestic propaganda for more war, and they would create more opportunity for domestic rage on both sides, and they reduce the ability to get to real agreement and settling of the Ukrainian border in a war that serves the actual people who still live there," Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Pentagon analyst, previously told Sputnik.
Biden's Monday declaration came as officials also confirmed that Washington shipped out its first batch of Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine, noting that approximately 60 vehicles had been dispatched from South Carolina.
To date, the US has provided Ukraine with $27.1 billion worth of security assistance since the start of Russia's special military operation, which is set to mark one year in February.