Despite widely-reported claims that 70 fighter jets were being provided to Ukraine by EU member-states, Western powers have now denied any plans of giving combat aircraft to the embattled nation.
The EU — alongside Slovakia, Bulgaria and Poland — has seemingly denied the possibility of providing the Ukrainian airforce with combat aircraft. This is despite initial widespread reporting that either the EU or a number of its members were actively in the process of providing fighter jets to the war-torn country, with the Ukrainian airforce even claiming that Poland would provide it with the use of its airports for “combat tasks” if necessary.
However, POLITICO is now reporting that these plans seem to have fallen through, with Europe’s Josep Borrell Fontelles — who serves as the bloc’s head of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy — being reported to have back-tracked on previous comments regarding the provision of fighter aircraft.
Multiple publications had previously reported that the EU was going to provide fighter aircraft to Ukraine as part of a package of military aid.
“We are going to supply … even fighter jets,” POLITICO claims Borrell Fontelles as saying during a press conference.
However, the Foreign Affairs head has since been reported as back-tracking on the comments, saying that the EU couldn’t afford to fund such ventures, and that aircraft would be donated “bilaterally” by EU nations instead.
Even those bilateral arrangements also now appear to have now fallen through — if they ever even existed — with all three nations supposedly involved in supplying the fighters being reported as denying any plans to provide Ukraine with aircraft.
Boris Johnson Rules Out Sending British Troops to Ukraine, Shuts Down ‘No-Fly Zone’ Pleashttps://t.co/O0kwW1vdRE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 2, 2022
This is despite claims from Ukraine’s airforce that 70 Russian-made fighters had been committed to the cause, and that they had already apparently dispatched pilots to pick the promised aircraft up.
“We are not sending any jets to Ukraine because that would open a military interference in the Ukrainian conflict,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said during a press conference with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO.
“We are not joining that conflict,” the President added. “NATO is not a party to that conflict.”
Poland’s Prime Minister later clarified the president’s comments as meaning — according to POLITICO — that the country had no plans on providing the fighter jets to Ukraine’s airforce.
“Poland doesn’t have such plans,” he is reported to have confirmed in a press conference.
Both Bulgaria and Slovakia were also reported by the publication as saying that there was no deal made to send fighters to Ukraine, with Slovakia being noted as needing the aircraft in the short term, having not yet come to an agreement with Poland regarding the future air defence of their country.
Other countries have also been forced to declare that they do not plan on getting embroiled in the conflict in Ukraine, with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson flatly denying the possibility of UK aircraft enforcing a so-called “no-fly-zone” over Ukraine.
“As I said to (Ukrainian President) Volodymyr Zelensky a couple of times, unfortunately, the implication of that is the UK would be engaged in shooting down Russian planes, it would be engaged in direct combat with Russia,” Johnson said during a press conference.
“That’s not something that we can do or that we’ve envisaged. The consequences of that would be truly very, very difficult to control,” he concluded.
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