US Scraps Poland’s Plan to Hand over Old Jets for Ukraine

should I makThe Pentagon on Tuesday rejected Poland’s surprise announcement that it would give the United States its MiG-29 fighter jets for use by Ukraine.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Poland’s declaration that it intended to deliver the 28 jets to the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany raised the concerning prospect of warplanes departing from a U.S. and NATO base to fly into airspace contested with Russia in the Ukraine conflict.

“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,” Kirby said.

The Polish Foreign Ministry announced the plan in a statement, which said the jets would be delivered to Ramstein free of charge.

“At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities,” it said while appealing to other owners of MIG-29 jets to follow suit.

Ukraine has been pleading for more warplanes as it resists mightier Russian forces, and Washington has been looking at a proposal under which Poland would supply Ukraine with the MiG-29s and, in return, receive American F-16s to make up for their loss. 

Ukraine also needs additional anti-tank, anti-arm, or weapons and coastal defense capabilities to defend against Russian ships in the south.

Earlier, Russia has also declared that supporting Ukraine’s air force would be tantamount to joining the war, and could spur retaliation.

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