Joe Biden, Denmark's Frederiksen tout importance of being 'united' on Ukraine

President Joe Biden (R) meets with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on Monday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
1 of 4 | President Joe Biden (R) meets with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on Monday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

June 5 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen discussed support for Ukraine in a meeting at the White House on Monday, during which the two leaders also .

The two world leaders did not publicly discuss Ukraine's access to F-16 fighter jets and the training needed for them, but Biden and Frederiksen were steadfast in voicing the importance for supporting the people of Ukraine.


"When war has returned to our continent, in Europe, it is so important that our allies and our friends -- that we stick together, that we are united," Frederiksen said in a press briefing with Biden.

"And we have truly been for now 15 months, in Ukraine. We will, of course, continue, from a Danish perspective, our very strong -- strong support to Ukraine, but I'm looking forward to work even closer with you on defense and securities."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has cited the need for fighter jets and training for months to help it better defend against Russia, which has controlled the skies to a large extent in its invasion.


"The two leaders will review our efforts as NATO allies and close partners to strengthen trans-Atlantic security and bolster economic prosperity," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last month about Frederiksen's visit.

"They will discuss our unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's brutal war of aggression. The leaders will coordinate on a range of issues, including energy security, climate change, and other global issues."

The visit comes three days before British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits the White House on Thursday, raising Ukraine's hopes for further support.

Local Kyiv media said that Denmark is open to the possibility of providing Ukraine with some of the dozens of American-made F-16s it has purchased since the 1970s, and Frederiksen has encouraged other NATO members to join in.

Biden, concerned about drawing U.S. military hardware more deeply into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, only recently endorsed the plan for F-16 use at the G7 meeting in Japan on May 19.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said May 25 that the Pentagon was developing a program with its allies in Europe to train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16s.

According to Biden, the United States and Denmark share more than the common cause to support Ukraine. Denmark is celebrating Constitution Day on Monday. Biden remarked that Denmark's constitution is not dissimilar to that of the United States.


"And [we're] also addressing the global challenges, from promoting inclusive economic growth and the climate crisis. And I want to thank you for your clean energy transition leadership," Biden said.

"And together with NATO allies, we're taking steps to strengthen our shared security, including finishing our bilateral defense cooperation agreement that we're working on."

Austin said that Denmark and the Netherlands are leading European efforts in developing the program, and that they will meet again with U.S. officials.

Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Poland each reportedly have offered to participate in training Ukraine's military pilots.

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