UK wants to start training Ukrainian fighter pilots quickly, says UK PM's spokesperson

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits the UK
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosts the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy at number 10 Downing Street on February 8, 2023 in London, England, Britain. Dan Kitwood/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Britain wants to start training Ukrainian fighter pilots as soon as possible, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday, adding London had yet to decide on whether to send combat aircraft.

"We are hoping to receive the first Ukrainian pilots for training in the spring, obviously we want it to start as soon as possible," the spokesperson told reporters, adding no decision on supplying fighter jets had been taken.

"The prime minister has tasked the defence secretary with investigating what jets we might be able to give, but to be clear this is a long-term solution, rather than a short-term capability which is what Ukraine needs most now."

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Elizabeth Piper; editing by William James

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