The United States has rejected a Polish proposal to supply MiG-29 fighter jets
Poland has fighter jets trained by Ukrainian pilots. The country is ready to hand over all MiG-29s to the United States, after which it will hand them over to Ukraine. But the United States has now rejected the idea.
D.The United States has rejected Poland’s proposal to supply warplanes to a U.S. base in Rammstein to transfer to Ukraine to fight Russia. “We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies on this issue and the difficult logistics challenges, but we do not believe the Polish proposal is acceptable,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday evening (local time).
Poland has previously agreed to the proposal of EU Foreign Secretary Joseph Borel, who first publicly spread the idea: Poland is ready to hand over its old Soviet-designed MiG aircraft to Ukraine for replacement, according to a Polish press release. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, it does not mention Ukraine. Instead, Warsaw wanted to use a legal tactic to prevent Poland from being targeted by Russia.
“After consultation with the President and the Government of the Republic of Poland, the Government is ready to transfer all MiG-29 aircraft to the Rammstein Air Force Base – immediately and free of charge and to place them in the possession of the United States.” Press release on the website of the Polish Foreign Ministry. Idea: The United States should send the plane to Ukraine. In return, the Poles were asked to provide used aircraft with operational capabilities comparable to the United States. “This is our unity and our contribution,” tweeted Jacques Kumoch, secretary of state for the Polish presidency and head of international politics.
Poland still has 28 MiG jets refitted with NATO transponders and must be phased out. The country received the machines from Germany in the early 2000s for a code of one euro.
In fact, there have been behind-the-scenes talks over the past few days regarding the replacement of MiG aircraft, as there has been a lot of pressure to help Ukrainians offset Russia’s air superiority, especially in the United States. They have repeatedly called for the establishment of a no – fly zone in Ukraine to curb Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities and the deaths of many civilians. However, this could lead to the risk of direct military conflicts between NATO and Russia, for which NATO is not prepared.
Eastern European MiGs, unlike modern Western fighter jets, can be flown without further training by Ukrainian pilots, making it the second best solution to make Ukraine less vulnerable to air strikes. They would also allow Kiev to launch airstrikes on Russian positions and convoys, largely avoided for fear of losing even smaller numbers of jets in Ukraine.
The constructive agreement will address two fundamental concerns of the poles. On the one hand, Warsaw does not want to be directly targeted by Moscow through this transfer. Now it can be said that they are handing over the jets only to the United States. It depends on them what they do with it.
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From the point of view of international law, this agreement would not be problematic for Poland or the United States, because supplying arms to a country that has been illegally attacked does not mean that the supplying countries are participating in the war. However, it is unclear how the Rammstein flights will be transferred to Ukraine. After all, it is questionable who will replace the planes, what national symbols will be fitted to replace them and whether they will fly to Ukraine with weapons or unarmed. It is also unclear whether Germany will be legally affected by the agreement, after all, the air base at Rammstein is German Sovereign.
After all, the United States no longer seems committed to this agreement. On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a visit to Moldova that “the United States is seriously considering the issue of aircraft that Poland can supply to Ukraine.” At the same time, Washington is exploring how the gap could be filled if “Poland decides to provide these flights”.
On Tuesday evening, US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland expressed surprise at the Polish report. “I think it’s a surprising move by the Poles,” said US State Department no. 3 said at the hearing of Congress. Nuland, meanwhile, said he had been in consultation with Poland for several days. Despite repeated requests, she did not want the United States to participate in the handover of the plane. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby later called Poland’s offer “unacceptable.”
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