US ‘works’ with Poland to send jets to Ukraine – media
The White House has told a number of US media outlets that Washington does not mind if Poland supplies Ukraine with some of its old Soviet-era warplanes to help repel the ongoing Russian invasion. “We are also working on the capabilities we could provide to backfill Poland if it decided to transfer planes to Ukraine,” the spokesperson said on Saturday.
Politico quoted four unnamed US officials as saying that Washington may fill the gap in Poland’s Air Force if it decides to give its used MiG-29s to Kiev. The Wall Street Journal reported that the US was considering giving Poland F-16 jet fighters if it transfers some of its old aircraft to Ukraine.
Russia invaded its neighbor last week, arguing that it was defending the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which broke off from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Moscow said it seeks the “demilitarization and denazification” of the country, without elaborating, but made it clear that it wants Ukraine to officially become a neutral country, renouncing its bid to join NATO.
Kiev said the attack was entirely unprovoked and appealed to the international community for help.
Countries such as Germany agreed to send anti-tank weapons and air defense missile systems. However, President Volodymyr Zelensky has insisted the West should establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, or at least provide it with aircraft to stop the Russian offensive.
Despite the pleas from Kiev, Poland, which has accepted an influx of refugees from Ukraine, previously refused to supply its eastern neighbor with warplanes. “We are supporting Ukrainians with humanity aid. However, we are not going to send any jets to the Ukrainian airspace,” President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday.