The U.S. has given Nato allies the “green light” to supply fighter jets to Ukraine last night despite Russia’s warning that it will be at war with any country providing planes.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sealed the deal with Poland and other countries to send their Russian-made MiGs to help Ukrainian defence forces.
“That gets a green light,” Blinken said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” when asked whether the Polish government, as a member of NATO, could send fighter planes to Ukraine.
“In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs if they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians.
“What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they are handing over to the Ukrainians?” Blinken added.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also reiterated Blinken’s remarks during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We have been in close consultations with the Polish government as well as with our other NATO allies on this issue. We have not in any way opposed the Polish government providing these jets to Ukraine, and we’re working, as you noted, to see how we can backfill for them,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
When asked if U.S. fighter jets could be provided to Poland and other NATO countries, Thomas-Greenfield said officials are still discussing the issue with the Poles.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, told “Face the Nation” that she hopes Ukraine will receive fighter jets from Poland “as soon as possible.”
According to Epoch Times, under the proposed deal, Poland would provide Ukraine with its Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets, which it has been retiring since the early 2000s, in return for having its hangars refilled by the United States with American-made F-16s.
The Polish air force has steadily been retiring MiG-29s and instead purchasing F-16s for the past 15 years as it moves to modernize its arsenal and reduce its reliance on Russian equipment.