F-16 for Ukraine: An open letter to Joseph Biden, President of the United States of America

2023-05-08 | Political initiatives

F-16 for Ukraine: An open letter to Joseph Biden, President of the United States of America


Mr. President,

First and foremost, we would like to thank you, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and the broad bipartisan coalition in Congress for your unwavering support for Ukraine and for the leadership that the United States has once again taken in defense of the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter. Like you, we believe that, as General Christopher Cavoli put it so well, “Russia cannot come out of this war with victory, our future simply cannot stand it.”

We have often wished that the assistance provided to Ukraine had been faster and more extensive. However, we are well aware that you are in possession of information that we do not have, and that you have had to work hard to build the Ramstein coalition and to make it more cohesive.

We are writing to you today because we are concerned. The task that awaits the Ukrainian armed forces in the coming months is enormous. There is a risk of setbacks and partial successes. And, as General Mark Milley has repeatedly reminded us, it is always a bad idea to underestimate the military capabilities of the Russian Federation. In other words, there is no guarantee that the war will not continue beyond 2023.

As you know, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and many Ukrainian military and political leaders believe that the supply of Western aircraft is crucial for a quick end to the war. Moreover, as Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, and James Cleverly, the British Foreign Secretary, have stated, the only real guarantee of Ukraine’s security in the medium and long term is its membership of the Atlantic Organization, even if this is only possible at the end of the war. We have no doubt that a broad consensus is forming on this point. We believe that the states that blocked this process in 2008 at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, and thus bear a grave responsibility for the war in progress, will be careful not to hinder it again.

We are aware that mastering the use of modern Western aircraft requires extensive pilot training and complex logistics. But we also know that the Ukrainian soldiers, who are highly motivated, have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to learn.

As leader of the Ramstein coalition, and as president of the country that produces the aircraft that the Ukrainian military authorities want most – the F-16 – your approval is essential.

In six months’ time the Ramstein coalition must be in a position to adjudicate – in the light of the prevailing military and political situation – on the supply of these F-16s by your country and by those European countries that have them. It therefore seems essential to us that a decision be taken without delay to train around one hundred Ukrainian pilots; to assemble the logistical chain involved in the supply of a hundred or so aircraft; to establish the number of aircraft that each NATO member country could effectively supply in the fall of 2023; and to prepare those aircraft.

We thank you for doing everything in your power to achieve these objectives in the near future and assure you, Mr. President, of our highest consideration.


Text of the the letter in Italian can be found here.


List of signatories

  1. Annely Akkermann, member of Parliament, former Minister of Finance, Estonia
  2. Andrus Ansip, member of the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Estonia
  3. Gert-Johannes Hagemann, Major General (ret.), German Army, Berlin, Germany
  4. Willy Herteleer, Admiral (ret.), ex Belgian Chief of Defence
  5. Anton Hofreiter, Chairman of the Committee on European Union Affairs of the Bundestag, Germany
  6. Rasa Juknevičienė, Vice-President of the European Parliament, former Defence Minister, Lithuania
  7. Roderich Kiesewetter, member of the Bundestag, representative of Foreign Affairs for the CDU/CSU-caucus, Germany
  8. Andrius Kubilius, member of the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Lithuania
  9. Vytautas Landsbergis, former President of the Republic of Lithuania
  10. Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania
  11. Marcos Perestrello, member of Parliament, Chair of the Defense Committee, Portugal
  12. Karel Schwarzenberg, former Foreign Affairs Minister and vice Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
  13. Kalev Stoicescu, member of Parliament, chairman of the National Defence Committee, Estonia
  14. Jarosław Stróżyk, Brigadier General (ret.), Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław, Poland
  15. Pekka Toveri, Major General (ret.), member of Parliament, Finland
  16. Michael Aastrup Jensen, member of Parliament, Denmark
  17. Cengiz Aktar, professor of Political Science at the University of Athens
  18. Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet professor of EU Law, HEC Paris, Founder of The Good Lobby
  19. Katarina Ammitzbøll, former member of Parliament, Denmark
  20. Martin Andler, mathematician, professor emeritus at the University of Versailles-St-Quentin, France
  21. Antoine Arjakovsky, director of Research, Collège des Bernardins, France
  22. Olga Artyushkina, senior Lecturer HDR in Russian Grammar and Linguistics, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University
  23. Anders Åslund, economist and former Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, Sweden
  24. João Azevedo Castro, member of Parliament, Portugal
  25. Christine Baron, professor of Comparative Literature, University of Poitiers, France
  26. Kris Beckers, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Belgium
  27. Martine Benoit, professor of History of Ideas-German studies, University of Lille, France
  28. Gérard Bensussan, philosopher, professor Emeritus at the University of Strasbourg, France
  29. Florian Bieber, professor of Southeast European History and Politics, Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria
  30. Michał Bilewicz, associate professor of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Poland
  31. Pierre Bouchat, assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Lorraine, France
  32. Alain Bourges, videographer, writer, retired senior art teacher, Ecole Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne, Rennes, France
  33. John Bowis, former member of the European Parliament, former member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
  34. Yordan Bozhilov, director of the Sofia Security Forum, former Deputy Defense Minister of Bulgaria
  35. Justina Budginaité-Froehly, political scientist, Germany
  36. Patricia Caillé, lecturer in the Information and Communication Department, University of Strasbourg, France
  37. Michel Caillouët, former Ambassador of the European Union, France
  38. Enver Can, founding President of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, Germany
  39. Marco Cappato, former member of the European Parliament, Italy
  40. Paulo Casaca, former member of the Portuguese Parliament, former member of the European Parliament
  41. Leo M. Chalupa, professor, School of Medicine, George Washington University; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science”, USA
  42. Peter Cmorej, member of Parliament, Slovakia
  43. Yves Cohen, historian, director of studies at EHESS, France
  44. Dominique Colas, professor emeritus of Political Science, Sciences Po, Paris, France
  45. Dorota Dakowska, professor of political science at Sciences Po Aix, France
  46. Christophe D’Aloisio, researcher affiliated to the Research Institute Religions, Spiritualities, Cultures, Societies (RSCS, UCLouvain), director of the Institute of Orthodox Theology in Brussels, Belgium
  47. Pierre d’Argent, professor of International Law, University of Louvain, member of the Institute of International Law, Belgium
  48. Louis Daubresse, associate researcher at the Institut de Recherche sur le Cinéma et l’Audiovisuel and the Fondation Balzan, PhD in film and audiovisual studies, France
  49. Julia David, associate member of the Institute of Modern and Contemporary History (CNRS/ENS), France
  50. Mark Demesmaeker, senator, chair of the Committee of Transversal Affairs, Belgium
  51. Sébastien Denis, professor, History & Film Studies, University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France
  52. Massimiliano Di Pasquale, associate researcher at the Gino Germani Foundation, Italy
  53. Boris Dittrich, Senator, Netherlands
  54. Jean-Marc Dreyfus, historian, lecturer at the University of Manchester, UK
  55. André Dumoulin, honorary lecturer, University of Liege, Belgium
  56. Olivier Dupuis, former member of the European Parliament, Belgium
  57. Emmanuel Dupuy, president of the Institute for Prospective and Security in Europe (IPSE), France
  58. Normunds Dzintars, member of Parliament, Latvia
  59. Marc Elie, research fellow at the CNRS, Deputy Director of the Center for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies – Cercec, France
  60. Nino Evgenidze, executive director Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), Georgia
  61. Marta Farion, president, Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America
  62. Penelope Faulkner, vice-President of Quê Me: Action for Democracy in Vietnam, France
  63. Andrej Findor, associate professor at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia
  64. Claude Forest, lecturer and researcher in economics and sociology of cinema at the Sorbonne Paris 3 University, France
  65. Céline Gailleurd, lecturer, filmmaker, University of Paris 8
  66. Natalia Gamalova, professor of Russian Language and Literature, Department of Slavic Studies, University of Lyon 3, France
  67. Vitaliano Gemelli, former member of the European Parliament, Italy
  68. Julie Gerber, doctor of Comparative Literature, lecturer at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France
  69. Mridula Ghosh, senior Lecturer of International Relations, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Board Chair, East European Development Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine
  70. Thorniké Gordadzé, former Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, lecturer at Paris Institute of Political Studies, Sciences Po, France
  71. Svetlana Gorshenina, historian, art historian, historiographer and specialist on Central Asia, director of research at CNRS Eur’Orbem, Université Paris-Sorbonne, France
  72. Nicolas Gosset, defence analyst, research fellow Russia/Eurasia at the Royal Higher Institute for Defence, Brussels, Belgium
  73. Iegor Gran, writer, France
  74. Markéta Gregorova, member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic
  75. Gustav Gressel, senior policy fellow with the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany
  76. Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse, professor, University of Warsaw, head of Department of European Union Policies at the Institute of European Studies, Editor-in-Chief of the International Analyses quarterly, Poland
  77. Jarosław Gryz, professor at War Studies University, Poland
  78. Jeanyves Guérin, professor of French literature at the Sorbonne nouvelle University, France
  79. Fernando Adolfo Gutiérrez Díaz de Otazu, member of Parliament, Spain
  80. Christophe Hansen, member of the European Parliament, Luxemburg
  81. Atte Harjanne, member of Parliament, Finland
  82. Rebecca Harms, former member of the European Parliament and Co-chair of the Green Parlamentary Group, Germany
  83. Patrick Hassenteufel, professor of Political Science, Université Paris-Saclay (UVSQ), Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
  84. Pavel Havlicek, research fellow at the Association for International Affairs (AMO), Czech Republic
  85. Oleksandr Havrylenko, professor at the V. N. Karazin National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  86. Joseph Henrotin, research fellow at the Institut de Stratégie Comparée, Belgium/France
  87. Richard Herzinger, columnist, Berlin, Germany
  88. Maryana Hnyp, professor of Social Ethics, Ateneo de Manila University; president of the
  89. European Network on Religion and Belief, Belgium
  90. Marie Holzman, sinologist, president of Solidarité Chine
  91. Ulrich Huygevelde, coordinator of the Center Géopolis, Belgium
  92. Mārcis Jencītis, member of Parliament, Latvia
  93. Mario Kadastik, member of Parliament, Estonia
  94. Christian Kaunert, professor of International Security Policy, Dublin City University and University of South Wales
  95. André Klarsfeld, deputy chair of the NPO “Pour l’Ukraine, pour leur liberté et la nôtre !”, retired university professor, France
  96. Jurģis Klotiņš, member of Parliament, Latvia
  97. Miro Kollár, member of Parliament, Slovakia
  98. Gašper Koprivsek, founder and director of Elysium Public Affairs, Slovenia
  99. Philip Krämer, member of the Bundestag, Germany
  100. Péter Krekó, senior lecturer and director of the Political Capital Institute, Political Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
  101. Eerik-Niiles Kross, member of Parliament, former Director of Intelligence, Estonia
  102. Yauheni Kryzhanouski, researcher, University of Strasbourg, associate professor at European Humanities University, Vilnius
  103. Robert Kwiatkowski, member of Parliament, Poland
  104. Per Larsen, member of Parliament, Denmark
  105. Gérard Lauton, emeritus assistant professor, member of the NPO “Pour l’Ukraine, pour leur liberté et la nôtre !”, France
  106. Diogo Leão, member of Parliament, Portugal
  107. Aurélie Ledoux, lecturer, film studies, University of Paris Nanterre, France
  108. Mathieu Lericq, Lecturer, Film studies, University Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France
  109. Ophir Levy, associate professor, Film Studies, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France
  110. Šarūnas Liekis, professor of Politics and dean of the Faculty of Politics and Diplomacy at Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
  111. Jarno Limnell, member of Parliament, Finland
  112. Sylvie Lindeperg, professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and emeritus member of the Institut Universitaire de France
  113. Jonathan Littell, writer, Goncourt Prize, France
  114. Ramon Loik, security politics analyst, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, former adviser to the Estonian Minister of Defense
  115. Raimundas Lopata, member of Parliament, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  116. Mihhail Lotman, former member of Parliament, professor emeritus at the Tallinn University, professor at the University of Tartu, Estonia
  117. Lubomyr Luciuk, professor of Political Science and Economics, Royal Military College of Canada
  118. Jaak Madison, member of the European Parliament, Estonia
  119. Paul Robert Magocsi, permanent fellow, Royal Society of Canada—Academy of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  120. Damien Marguet, associate professor, co-Head of Film Studies Department, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France
  121. Jean Mariani, professor emeritus, Neurosciences and Gerosciences, Faculty of Medicine Sorbonne University, France
  122. Alain Maskens, physician, oncologist, founder and former medical coordinator of the European Organization for Cooperation in Cancer Prevention Studies (ECP), Belgium
  123. Marie-Claude Maurel, director of Studies at EHESS – École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Centre d’études russe, caucasien et centre-européen, France
  124. Frédéric Mauro, lawyer at the Brussels bar, associate researcher at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), Paris, France
  125. Rachel Mazuy, Associate researcher at the Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent, lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, France
  126. Alvydas Medalinskas, political analyst, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, former chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament
  127. Alexandre Melnik, professor at ICN Business School, expert and consultant in geopolitics, France
  128. Nona Mikhelidze, senior fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome, Italy
  129. Emmanuel Morucci, doctor in Sociology, president of CECI (Cercle Europe Citoyennetés et identités), France
  130. Alexander Motyl, professor of political science, Rutgers University-Newark, United States
  131. Boris Najman, associate professor and researcher in Economics at University Paris East Créteil
  132. Laure Neumayer, political scientist, lecturer at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and senior researcher at the European Centre for Sociology and Political Science in Paris, France
  133. Olevs Nikers, president of the Baltic Security Foundation, Latvia
  134. Alexis Nuselovici, professor of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Aix-Marseille, France
  135. Lydia Obolensky, professor of Russian Language and Literature, Belgium
  136. Ong Thong Hoeung, writer, survivor of the Khmer Rouge re-education camps, Belgium
  137. Peter Osuský, vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Slovakian Parliament
  138. Doris Pack, president of EPP Women, president of the Robert Schuman Institute, former member of the European Parliament and the Bundestag, Germany
  139. Carmelo Palma, journalist, Director of Strade-on-line, Italy
  140. Franck Petiteville, professor of Political Science, Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, France
  141. Jan Pieklo, Polish ambassador to Ukraine (2016-2019)
  142. Nicoletta Pirozzi, head of EU Programme and Institutional Relations Manager at Istituto Affari Internazionali, Italy
  143. Andrzej Podraza, professor, head of the Chair of International Relations and Security, Catholic University of Lublin, Poland; visiting fellow, University of Notre Dame, USA
  144. Henn Põlluaas, member of Parliament, Estonia
  145. Bohdan Prots, associate professor, Danube-Carpathian Programme and State Museum of Natural History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine
  146. Jean-Paul Pylypczuk, director of the publication “La parole ukrainienne”, France
  147. Eva Quistorp, theologian, writer, former member of the European Parliament, Berlin, Germany
  148. Pierre Raiman, secretary of the NPO “Pour l’Ukraine, pour leur liberté et la nôtre !”, France
  149. Sylvie Rollet, emeritus professor, chairwoman of the NPO “Pour l’Ukraine, pour leur liberté et la nôtre !”
  150. Bronis Ropé, member of the European Parliament, Lithuania
  151. Marie-Claude San Juan, writer and blogger, France
  152. Andrei Sannikov, chairman of the European Belarus Foundation. Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus (1995-1996), presidential candidate 2010, former Prisoner of Consciousness
  153. Anton Shekhovtsov, director of the Centre for Democratic Integrity, Austria
  154. Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, member of Parliament, Netherlands
  155. Ivan Štefanec, member of the European Parliament, Slovakia
  156. Wally Struys, professor emeritus, defence economist, Royal Military Academy, Belgium
  157. Raúl Suevos, colonel (ret), former director of communication at the Eurocorps and former commander of the multinational HQ Battalion of Eurocorps, Spain
  158. Marcin Święcicki, former Minister of Foreign Economic Co-operation, former mayor of Warsaw, Poland
  159. Igor Taro, member of Parliament, Estonia
  160. Ewa M. Thompson, professor of Slavic Studies Emerita, Rice University, USA
  161. Nathalie Tocci, honorary professor at the University of Tübingen, director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Italy
  162. Patrizia Tosini, associate professor of History of Modern Art, Roma Tre University, Italy
  163. Florian Trauner, Jean Monnet chair at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), visiting professor at the College of Europe, Belgium
  164. Andreas Umland, analyst at the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies
  165. Jacques Vallin, director of research Emeritus, INED, Condorcet Campus, France
  166. Karl Vanlouwe, member of the Flemish Parliament, Senator, Belgium
  167. Maïrbek Vatchagaev, Chechen historian and political analyst of the North Caucasus at the Jamestown Foundation, co-editor of the journal “Caucasus Survey”
  168. Sarah Whitmore, reader in Politics, Faculty Research Ethics Officer, School of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
  169. Kataryna Wolczuk, professor of Political science, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES), School of Government, University of Birmingham, UK
  170. Miroslav Žiak, former member of Parliament, Slovakia