Defense

Pentagon: Polish proposal to send MiG fighters to US air base not ‘tenable’

The Pentagon on Tuesday rejected Poland’s proposal to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. air base in Germany amid the intensifying Russian war in Ukraine.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby released a statement Tuesday evening calling the proposal untenable.

Poland proposed a plan Tuesday to transfer the jets to the Ramstein Air Base to then go to Ukraine to help their fight against Russia. 

“The prospect of fighter jets ‘at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America’ departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” Kirby said. 

“It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it. 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,” he added. 

Poland’s plan came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with the U.S. to transfer the MiG-29 jets to the country on Saturday. 

In Poland’s statement Tuesday, it called on other NATO allies with those types of jets, which Ukrainian soldiers are trained to use, to transfer them to Ukraine. 

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said the offer by Poland was not “preconsulted” with the U.S.

“We are now in contact with the Polish government following the statement issued today.  As we have said, the decision about whether to transfer Polish-owned planes to Ukraine is ultimately one for the Polish government,” Kirby said. “We will continue consulting with our Allies and partners about our ongoing security assistance to Ukraine, because, in fact, Poland’s proposal shows just some of the complexities this issue presents.”

Updated at 6:58 p.m.

 

Tags fighter jets John Kirby Poland UKRAINE RUSSIA
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