Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that he will send 11-19 fighter jets to Ukraine to help them in the war. This is the first time that a NATO country has made the decision to send this type of weapon to Ukraine. A decision that has been questioned due to the doubts raised by supplying this type of artifact to kyiv, since the conflict could escalate.
Poland, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has agreed to send about a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. This was announced by the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, this Thursday, March 16.
This is an unprecedented announcement: it is the first time that a NATO country will send this class of weapons to Ukrainian territory.
Duda said he would deliver four of the Soviet-made combat planes “in the next few days.” He added that the others were undergoing maintenance and would be supplied later.
The Polish word you used to describe the number of aircraft can mean that it will be around 11-19.
“They are in the last years of their operation, but they are in good working conditions,” Duda said of the planes.
It is not yet clear whether other Treaty countries will follow suit, although Slovakia had announced that it would send the MiGs it no longer uses to Ukraine.
Warsaw has become a strong arms ally of kyiv. It was also the first NATO country to send German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller had mentioned on Wednesday that other countries had promised Ukraine MiG aircraft, but did not specify which ones.
Poland and Slovakia had expressed their willingness to hand over planes to the government of Volodimir Zelenski, only if the international coalition did the same.
Duda said the Polish air force would replace the planes it delivers to Ukraine with South Korean-made FA-50 fighters and US-made F-35 fighters.
Reactions to the Polish decision
The Polish president’s announcement took the authorities of his neighboring country, Germany, which is also a NATO member, by surprise.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, speaking to the press, said: “So far, everyone agrees that this is not the time to send fighter jets. I still don’t have any confirmation from Poland that this has happened.” happened”.
The White House, for its part, said it respected Poland’s sovereignty and praised the country for continuing to “strike beyond its means” by helping Kiev.
In any case, the Biden administration reiterated that the decision of the European country would not put pressure on that of the United States, which so far has not given in to sending F-16 aircraft to Ukraine.
“There is no change in our opinion regarding combat aircraft at this time,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
And he added: “That is our sovereign decision. That is where we are, other nations can speak of their own decisions.”
The supply of planes to kyiv has generated controversy, since Ukraine does not belong to NATO and the decision of the shipment could further escalate the conflict. Doubts have lingered even as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made stronger calls for Western allies to share their fighter jets.
Poland has been a key partner of Ukraine. This country has received thousands of refugees fleeing the war and hosts thousands of US troops on its territory.
Ukraine had several dozen MiG-29s before the war, which it inherited from the Soviet Union. But now, it is not clear how many are still in service after more than a year of conflict.
With AP and Reuters