Pentagon Says US Does Not Support Sending Polish Jets to Ukraine

Spokesman John Kirby said sending the planes risks escalation with Russia

Mar 9, 2022

The Pentagon said Wednesday that the US does not support sending Polish warplanes to Ukraine since the move is too “high risk” and would not significantly improve Ukraine’s ability to fight Russia.

“We assess that adding aircraft to the Ukrainian inventory is not likely to significantly change the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air force relative to Russian capabilities. Therefore, we believe that the gain from transferring those MiG-29s is low,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

“The intelligence community has assessed the transfer of MiG-29s to Ukraine may be mistaken as escalatory, and could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO. Therefore, we also assess the transfer of the MiG-29s to Ukraine to be high-risk,” he said.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Poland had the “green light” to send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine despite the obvious risk of escalation with Russia. Poland responded by offering to send the aircraft to a US base in Germany, giving Washington the option to send the planes to Ukraine.

“Polish generosity is clearly on display for the whole world to see. But at this time, we believe the provision of additional fighter aircraft provides little increased capabilities at high risk,” Kirby said.

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