US rejects Poland’s proposal of fighter jets for Ukraine, calls it ‘untenable’
The US, on Tuesday evening, rejected an offer by Poland to transfer its Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. base in Germany as a way to replenish Ukraine's air force in its defense against invading Russian forces.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that the proposal was not “tenable" just hours after Polish officials released a statement saying the government was ready to deploy all of its MiG-29 fighter jets to US Air Force's Rammstein Air Base in Germany.
In his statement, 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 that the proposal coming from Poland, a NATO ally, is risky. He said "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.”
According to a US department official, the US government was surprised by the offer by Poland. U.S. lawmakers are eager to speed military aid to Ukraine and are pushing the Biden administration to facilitate the aircraft transfer.
Russia's defense ministry warned this week that countries offering airfields to Ukraine for attacks on Russia may be considered as having entered the conflict.