Pentagon shuts down Poland’s plan to send jets for Ukraine military

A Ukrainian MIG-29 taxis past US Air NAtional Guard F-16s during Safe Skies 2011. (Credit: Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Drudge)

Washington — The Pentagon has said that an offer from Warsaw which envisioned giving Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to the US for use by the Ukrainian military in the conflict with Russia was “not tenable.”

The prospect of fighter jets “at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America” departing from a US/ NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday in Washington.

“We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one,” he added.

According to a statement by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on Tuesday, Poland is ready to move all MiG-29 combat aircraft to the US Ramstein Air Force Base in south-western Germany immediately and free of charge.

At the same time, the US is being asked to provide the country with used aircraft with the appropriate operational capability.

“As we have said, the decision about whether to transfer Polish-owned planes to Ukraine is ultimately one for the Polish government,” Kirby explained.

“We will continue consulting with our Allies and partners about our ongoing security assistance to Ukraine, because, in fact, Poland’s proposal shows just some of the complexities this issue presents.”

Warsaw has repeatedly ruled out direct delivery of fighter jets to neighbouring Ukraine, which has been pleading for more Soviet-era MiG fighter jets which would mean minimal training for Ukrainian pilots, unlike Western-built jets.

©2022 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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