Biden approves F-16 training for Ukraine

US officials say President Joe Biden told other Group of 7 leaders at the summit in Hiroshima on Friday that he approves training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighters.

The officials say the training would take place in Europe and may begin in a matter of weeks. However, they say it will take months to complete.

In an interview with NHK, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the US is working with leaders in Kyiv on their long-term "security needs," although he declined to comment on specifics about the fighter jets.

He acknowledged the Ukrainians have been asking for F-16s and said the US is aware its European allies and partners are "exploring some opportunities." He added that the US respects "all those decisions."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte welcomed Biden's support for the training. He wrote on social media that he will work with his British, Danish and Belgian allies on whatever details are needed to get the program off the ground.