“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,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement,
“The prospect of fighter jets ‘at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America’ departing from a US/NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.”
On Tuesday, the Polish government announced that it was ready to send all its MiG-29 fighter jets to a US military base in Germany. It had also urged other NATO countries to send their own fighter jets of a similar type.
The Pentagon said that while the decision to transfer Polish-owned planes is ultimately of the Polish government, it added that it “is simply not clear” 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,” the statement said.
After Poland’s offer on Tuesday, officials in the White House said that they were caught unaware. Undersecretary of state Victoria Nuland told lawmakers at a hearing on the Ukraine crisis that she learned of Poland’s plans only while driving to the hearing. “To my knowledge, it wasn’t pre-consulted with us,” Nuland said.
On Sunday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said that any country that allows Ukrainian-operated airplanes to use their soil to attack the Russian military could be considered a participant in the conflict.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDEPENDENT