Defence Secretary refuses to rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine – but not at the moment

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 03, 2015 A British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet is seen on the tarmac at the British airbase at Akrotiri, near Cyprus' second city of Limassol on December 3, 2015. Britain joined the US-led bombing campaign over Syria on December 3, hitting an oil field held by Islamic State jihadists just hours after a decisive parliamentary vote authorised air strikes. AFP PHOTO / IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU - Cyprus became independent from Britain in 1960 after a guerrilla campaign. Under that treaty, which Greece and Turkey also signed, the United Kingdom retained control over two military zones, Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) where thousands of Cypriots live - outnumbering British troops. This is the only British overseas territory effectively run through the British defence ministry. (Photo by IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / AFP) (Photo by IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP via Getty Images)

BRITAIN’S Defence Secretary tonight refused to rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine.

But Ben Wallace suggested it was “not the right approach” at the moment.

Ben Wallace has refused to rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, but says it is not the ‘right approach’ at the moment

Speaking to reporters, he said: “I’ve learned two things; never rule anything in and never rule anything out.

“This is not a solid decision. For now, I don’t think that’s the right approach … What’s going to move on this conflict this year is going to be the ability for Ukrainians to deploy Western armour against Russia.”

It comes as former boss Boris Johnson doubled down on his plea for the UK to send fighter jets to Ukraine.

He said on a visit to the US to bolster support for the war-torn nation: “All I will say is that every time we have said it will be a mistake to give such and such an item of weaponry, we end up doing it and it ends up being the right thing for Ukraine.

“All I’m saying is save time, save money, save lives.

“Give the Ukrainians what they need as fast as possible.”

Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden told ITV’s Peston show tonight that the government didn’t rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine.

He said: “It’s a bit premature to start talking about jets and everything else but of course we don’t rule anything off the table.

“There’s training times and so on associated with that so it’s not an immediate solution.”

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