President Volodymyr Zelensky’s desperate plea to arrange Soviet-built fighter jets to combat Russian forces over the last few days has received tremendous support from US lawmakers over the last few days. However, the plan still needs to pass through several geological and logistical hurdles to reach the invading country’s territory.
“A proposal to send Soviet-built fighter jets to Ukraine has found support among several US lawmakers following pleas by President Volodymyr Zelensky,” Forbes Middle East Tweeted.
- On Saturday, President Zelensky asked for more fighter jets from US lawmakers during a video call to fight Russian forces and maintain control over its airspace.
- The next day, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that “NATO countries had a ‘green light’ to send warplanes to the Ukrainian military, Ut the logistics of the plan are a challenge as the Ukrainian Air Force uses Russian-made MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets,” which only a handful of NATO forces can operate including, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia.
- The United States cannot offer its F-16 jets to Ukraine as its air force is not trained enough to operate such kinds of aircraft.
- One of the proposals currently under consideration involves Poland sending its two engine fighter jets MiG-29 to Ukraine and taking US’s F-16 aircrafts as replacement.
- Poland, which can operate both kinds of aircraft, had previously rejected the proposal after Putin threatened it against such a step. Also, the replacement jets won’t be immediately available to them.
“We’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians. What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they are handing over to the Ukrainians?” told Blinken to CBS on Sunday.
Last week during a NATO press conference, Polish President Andrzej Duda refused to provide military assistance to Ukraine, saying, “We are not joining this conflict. NATO is not a party to this conflict. We are supporting Ukraine with humanitarian aid, however, we are not sending any jets to Ukrainian airspace.” Though, the country officials have indicated that they would consider the proposal made by US lawmakers, as per the Wall Street Journal.