We’ll Send Ukraine Fighter Jets If You Do, Poland Tells America

Gdynia, Poland 28th, July 2014 Scenes at the 43rd Polish Naval Air Base airport in Gdynia
NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images

Poland is willing to send Ukraine fighter jets if the United States leads a broader coalition of countries to do the same, the Polish prime minister has said.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has told journalists that Poland is willing to hand over a number of its Soviet-era MiG fighter jets to Ukraine — so long as a broader Western coalition of countries led by the United States does the same.

The offer resembles a similar suggestion made by Poland early last year, with officials in the country repeatedly trying to get the United States to give Poland F-16 jet fighters in exchange for Poland giving Ukraine its fleet of MiG-29s.

Although U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken seemingly favoured countries like Poland handing over their jets to Ukraine for a time, the deal did not go the distance, being shot down by America because the Biden administration refused to be directly involved in facilitating it amid fears of massively escalating tensions with Russia.

Nearly one year on, however, Poland has seen fit to make a similar offer, with Reuters reporting Prime Minister Morawiecki as saying that his nation is ready and willing to hand over its jet fighters so long as others are willing to do the same.

“Today we can talk about transferring our MiG [jets] as part of a wider coalition and we are ready for that,” the news agency reported the national conservative politician as saying.

“Poland can only be a part of a much larger coalition here, a coalition with the United States as a leader,” he emphasised.

Morawiecki’s statement marks a bit of a U-turn for Poland, with senior officials from the country previously being somewhat hesitant to play into the suggestion that Western nations could start handing Ukraine fighter jets.

This hesitation now appears to be over, with the country’s President, Andrzej Duda, also saying that Ukraine needs fighter jets in an interview with British broadcaster Sky News.

“They’ll also need modern planes, fighter jets in the future,” Duda told the outlet. “Everything that will allow them to have a technological upper hand over the Russian armed forces is valuable right now.”

While Poland’s offer to hand over jets is largely similar to the one put on the table last year, the general sentiment has shifted significantly since those early debates over MiGs for Ukraine, with there now being a great deal of serious discussion about going even further and supplying the country with Western-made F-16s.

Indeed, concerns about angering Vladimir Putin’s Russia appear to have all but disappeared since the spring of 2022, with the United States repeatedly backing efforts to stand high-tech weapons and equipment to Ukraine, including its prized M1 Abrams main battle tank.

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