Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store speaks during his arrival...

Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store speaks during his arrival at the NATO summit on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, in Washington. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway will donate six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to defend itself from Russian attacks, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Wednesday, adding that the jets will be important for Kyiv.

Ukraine has long pleaded for the sophisticated fighter to give it a combat edge against Russian firepower.

No date was announced as to when Norway will donate the six jets, but Gahr Støre said, “we aim to start the donations during 2024.”

He said Kyiv's “ability to defend itself against attacks from the air is absolutely crucial in its defensive battle against Russia.”

Gahr Store spoke before he arrived in Washington for the NATO summit.

Last year he said during a trip to Kyiv that Norway would donate F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine but didn't specify how many.

After 42 years of service, the Nordic NATO member phased out its aging fleet of F-16 fighters in 2021 and is replacing them with new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store during his arrival at...

Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store during his arrival at the NATO summit on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, in Washington. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

Norway is the third European country after the Netherlands and Denmark to donate F-16 planes to Ukraine.

Oil-rich Norway is one of the world’s biggest donors to Ukraine.

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