The U.S. is pushing a deal for Poland to ship fighter jets to Ukraine, regardless of Moscow warning that nations that host warplanes for Kyiv might be drawn into the battle.
It comes after President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine issued an impassioned plea to U.S. lawmakers on the weekend to assist his nation get extra jets to combat Russia’s invasion.
The deal would contain Poland transferring its Soviet-era MiG-29 planes, which Ukrainian pilots are educated to fly, to Ukraine, whereas the U.S. is in discussions to backfill Poland’s fleet with American-made F-16s.
The plan is fraught with danger, nevertheless, because the Kremlin has warned neighboring nations that internet hosting Ukraine’s warplanes might be thought-about their “engagement in the military conflict.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was requested on Sunday if Poland, a NATO member, sending fighter jets to Ukraine might escalate tensions, throughout an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation. Blinken replied: “No, that gets a green light.
“In truth, we’re speaking with our Polish mates proper now about what we’d be capable to do to backfill their wants, if, in actual fact, they select to supply these fighter jets to the Ukrainians… We’re in very energetic discussions with them about that.”
Poland’s response, at least in public, has been restrained, however.
“As far as sending planes, I can only repeat that no decisions have been taken on the subject,” stated authorities spokesman Piotr Mueller.
On Sunday, the chancellery of the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, dismissed reviews that it might switch the jets. “Poland won’t send its fighter jets to #Ukraine as well as allow to use its airports,” the chancellery’s official account tweeted. “We significantly help in many other areas.”
According to Politico, Eastern European nations together with Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia retain dozens of Russian-made plane, however have been reluctant to surrender the jets with out reassurance from the U.S. that they’d get replaced.
On Sunday, the spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, claimed that some Ukrainian fight planes had redeployed to Romania and different neighboring nations.
Konashenkov warned that if these warplanes attacked Russian forces from the territory of these nations, this “could be considered as those countries’ engagement in the military conflict.”
Mueller, the Polish authorities spokesman, denied allegations that Warsaw might be making its airfields obtainable to Ukrainian warplanes.
On a name with greater than 300 members of Congress on Saturday, President Zelensky careworn Ukraine’s must safe its skies, both by way of a no-fly zone enforced by NATO or by way of the supply of extra warplanes.
NATO has refused to impose a no-fly zone, fearing it might provoke a widespread conflict with Russia.
On Saturday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia warned that he would view any nation that declares a no-fly zone over Ukraine as a participant within the “armed conflict.”
Newsweek has contacted the White House for remark.