JAKARTA - Experts assess Russia's concern about sending US-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine could accommodate nuclear weapons as inappropriate, saying the aircraft was not delivered for nuclear missions.

Director of Nuclear Information Projects at the American Federation of Scientists Hans Kristensen said comments were wrong, perhaps even disinformation.

"That's misinformation because he says things that are not real and use them in a way, I assume, create public concerns or spread fear about Western intentions," he said as quoted by Business Insider on June 8.

Lebih lanjut, Kristensen mengatakan Lavrov menggunakan kemampuan nominal pesawat F-16 untuk mengatakan bahwa pesawat yang mungkin dikirim ke Ukraina juga dapat diubah menjadi nuklir. Tetapi, "kah itu masalahnya."

"The F-16 that Ukraine will receive, if and when it gets it, they are not from a unit that has a nuclear mission," he said.

"It is impossible for any nuclear country in the West to provide nuclear weapons, or nuclear weapons capabilities, to Ukraine. That is absolutely impossible," he added.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday US-made F-16 fighter jets could "accommodate" nuclear weapons, warning that supplying weapons of the type to Kyiv would further increase conflict.

"We have to remember that one of the modifications of the F-16 can 'accommodate' nuclear weapons," Lavrov said in a speech at a military base in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, according to a transcript on the ministry's website.

"If they don't understand this, then they are useless as military strategists and planners," he continued.

One day later, White House spokesman John Kirby refused to discuss the nuclear capabilities of F-16 fighters, but noted US President Joe Biden had consistently refused to see the war escalate, including into the nuclear realm.

"The purpose of providing these advanced warplanes is to help Ukraine defend itself, in defending its airspace and its territorial integrity period," Kirby said.

"Jika Anda khawatir dengan kemampuan militer Ukraina, maka Anda harus membawa pasukan Anda meninggalkan Ukraina," lanjutnya sambil mengingatkan Lavrov.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has long asked for the F-16 jets, saying its appearance with Ukrainian pilots would be a definite signal to the world that the Russian invasion would end in defeat.

Citing European Pravda, President Zelensky said several countries that were part of the newly formed fighter jet coalition had submitted a special proposal to Ukraine to provide the F-16.

The coalition of fighter jets for Ukraine currently consists of eight European countries, namely England, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and France.

The English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and French versions are automatically generated by the AI. So there may still be inaccuracies in translating, please always see Indonesian as our main language. (system supported by DigitalSiber.id)