Source: Jack Phillips
Polish officials on Tuesday announced they would deploy the country’s MiG-29 jets to the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“After consultations between the President and the Government,” officials “are ready to deploy–immediately and free of charge–all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
Poland then requested that the United States provide it with its “used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities,” adding that Warsaw is “ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes.”
The Polish government also called on other NATO members who own MiG-29 planes, which were first manufactured in the 1970s by the Soviet Union, to transfer their planes to the United States.
U.S. officials have not publicly commented on the Foreign Ministry’s announcement. The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Defense for comment.
The decision comes after conflicting statements were made by U.S. and Polish officials about whether Warsaw would send its fighter planes to Ukraine’s military.
Marcin Przydacz, a deputy foreign minister, told Radio Zet on Monday that “we will not open our airports and Polish planes will not fight over Ukraine.” Another government spokesman, Piotr Mueller, said that the move to provide planes was still being discussed within NATO.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Poland was given the “green light” to sent fighter planes to Ukraine.
“In fact, 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?” Blinken told CBS News.
Since the war began on Feb. 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government has often asked NATO and the United States to send fighter planes and other weapons, while also calling for a no-fly zone.
During a Zoom call on Saturday with U.S. members of Congress, Zelensky reiterated that Ukraine is seeking military planes, and he asked specifically for Russian-manufactured planes, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
However, Russia’s Ministry of Defense issued a warning that any nation that allows Ukraine to use their respective airfields to carry out attacks on Russian assets can be considered as having entered the conflict.
“The use of the airfield networks of these countries to base Ukrainian military aircraft and their subsequent use against the Russian armed forces may be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russia’s Interfax news agency on Sunday.
Russia’s Defense Ministry, he added, is aware of “Ukrainian combat planes which earlier flew to Romania and other neighboring countries,” without elaborating.
And despite Ukraine’s pleas for a no-fly zone, NATO’s chief and White House officials said they are not considering implementing one.