The US F-35 warplanes have arrived in Lithuania on Thursday, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said.
“In Lithuania, on February 24, armed US F-35 military aircraft landed at the airbase of the Lithuanian Army Air Force in Siauliai, where additional US military forces are deployed. In response to the current security situation, the US has also taken an important and necessary decision – the rotation of the heavy 3-66 armor battalion continues in Lithuania,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, the Netherlands dispatched two F-35 fighters to protect NATO airspace over Eastern Europe amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the Dutch Defense Ministry said.
“Two F-35 fighters are currently deployed to protect NATO airspace over Eastern Europe. The Netherlands expresses allied solidarity and contributes, especially now, to maintain the integrity of the NATO zone,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a military operation against Ukraine. In a televised speech, the Russian leader said that the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk republics requested help from Russia to counter Ukraine’s military aggression.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the army does not target Ukrainian cities, so there is no threat to the civilians.
Earlier in the month, the US armed forces redeployed two fighter wings of F-35A combat aircraft from Hill Air Force Base (AFB) in the state of Utah to a new location in Germany, the Air Force announced in a press release.
“Pilots, maintainers and support personnel from the active-duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing here deployed the F-35A Lightning II to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany,” the press release read.
The jets arrived at Spangdahlem on Wednesday on a mission to bolster readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with Allied and Partner nations, the Air Force said. The deployment was made with the full cooperation of the German government, the release added.
Also, eight F-15Es from the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina deployed to Lask in Poland, and six KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Aerial Refueling Wing, at Mildenhall in the United Kingdom deployed to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the release said.
France Should Intervene
France must launch negotiations between European countries and Russia regarding an agreement that will prevent NATO from expanding eastward, French far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour said on Thursday, amid an ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed solidarity with Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said they spoke on the phone to discuss sanctions against Russia and the possibility of assistance to the Ukrainian military.
“I suggest that France initiate emergency negotiations with European countries and Russia about an agreement that would put an end to NATO’s expansion to the east,” Zemmour told French broadcaster BFMTV.
In the early hours of Thursday, Russia launched a military operation after the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk requested assistance in countering the Ukrainian government forces.
This followed failed attempt by Russia to negotiate a new European security framework with the United States and NATO, which would prevent NATO from expanding in Eastern Europe.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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