Poland is ready to put all its MiG-29 combat aircraft at the disposal of the United States, the Polish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, amid a very serious debate over how to support Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion of its territory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to NATO countries to provide his country with aircraft to enhance its capabilities, and US officials are discussing providing Poland with F-16s in return.
Polish officials expressed reservations about taking any steps that might draw their country into war. But the State Department said Warsaw was ready to send MiG-29s to the Ramstein air base in Germany “immediately and free of charge” and put them at the disposal of the US government.
Meanwhile, Poland is asking the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Poland is ready to immediately impose conditions for the purchase of aircraft.
“The Polish government is also asking other NATO allies – the owners of MiG-29s – to act in the same way.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States was looking “very actively” in providing Poland with military aircraft if Warsaw chose to send its planes to Ukraine. His comments came after heavy pressure from Zelensky, who said that if NATO did not impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, it should supply its air force with combat aircraft.
To facilitate this, Zelensky asked the United States to give Poland and other Eastern European allies F-16 fighter jets, enabling those countries to send Russian-made warplanes to Ukraine. Ukrainian pilots need Russian-made planes because these are the systems they have been trained to fly.
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