The president of the USA Joe Biden said on Sunday that it had received “clear assurance” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that it would not use F-16 fighter jets supplied to Ukraine by the West to strike Russian territory.

Biden clarified to reporters in Hiroshima, Japan at the conclusion of the G7 summit that the F-16 warplanes could be used “wherever Russian troops are inside Ukraine and the region.”

He said he is “very unlikely” fighters to be used in any Ukrainian offensive in the coming weeks, but that Ukrainian troops could need such weapons to defend against Russian forces beyond their current range.

Biden told reporters he discussed the issue with Zelensky during their one-on-one meeting. He said the F-16s would not have helped Ukrainian forces over Bakhmut, for example, but could “to make a big difference in terms of the ability to deal with what comes next”.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies said today they would not stop supporting Ukraine, in a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he claimed Russian forces had captured the city of Bakhmut, which Kiev denied.

For his part, Zelensky he declared today confident that Kiev will finally receive F-16 fighter jets from the West after months of lobbying for the planes.