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Russia to shoot down F-16s over Ukraine — chief delegate to arms control talks in Vienna

Konstantin Gavrilov recalled that unfriendly countries had already been warned about the seriousness of this issue

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Attempts by unfriendly countries to let Kiev use F-16 fighter jets is a very serious security issue for Russia, so in case these planes appear in Ukrainian airspace, the Russian forces will be shooting them down, Russia’s chief delegate to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, has warned.

He recalled that unfriendly countries had already been warned about the seriousness of this issue.

"Nevertheless, they insist - the Netherlands, for instance, and the Danish super-heroes - that they will allow F-16 to be used wherever they can on Russian territory," Gavrilov said in comments to the Izvestia TV channel.

"It's not just a fighter jet. It's a delivery vehicle of nuclear weapons. Their attempts to use [this fighter jet], as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, on the territory of Ukraine and so on - will be a question of nuclear safety: we don't know what it carries, a one-ton or one-and-a-half-ton conventional bomb or a tactical nuclear warhead. Well, [the Russian Armed Forces forces] will be shooting them down," Gavrilov stated.

The diplomat stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already spoken quite clearly on this matter during his visit to Uzbekistan.

"He warned the Western 'non-partners,' who - some of them -have already apparently lost their heads, that their countries are very densely populated and that they should give thought to the consequences of using long-range means of destruction on Russian territory. There is a limit to everything," Gavrilov explained.

Earlier, the acting head of the Dutch Defense Ministry, Kajsa Ollongren, declared that her country intended to transfer 24 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, which could be used for strikes on targets in Russia. She stated that the Netherlands applied the same principle to everything it was supplying to Kiev: once the weapons were in Ukraine’s hands, it was free to use at its sole discretion.