Saturday, March 5, 2022

U.S. Working With Poland to Send More Fighter Jets to Ukraine (VIDEO)

I was thinking about this as I was writing my earlier entry on establishing a "no-fly zone" over Ukaine. My thought's were more American F-16s than Russian MIGs, but hey, it's like a new cold war, right? 

At WSJ, "U.S., Poland Look at Providing Soviet-Era Aircraft to Ukraine":

The U.S. is exploring a deal in which Poland would send Soviet-era aircraft to Ukraine in return for American F-16 jet fighters, U.S. officials said Saturday, in the latest bid to help Ukraine respond to Russia’s invasion.

The deal would require White House approval and congressional action, U.S. officials said.

The disclosure of a possible deal followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s impassioned plea to Capitol Hill for assistance in obtaining more lethal military aid, especially Russian-made jet fighters that Ukrainian pilots can fly. Mr. Zelensky also supported a proposal to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil, in a video call Saturday morning with members of Congress.

There were more than 200 House and Senate members on the call, said people who participated. Mr. Zelensky spoke for about 25 minutes before taking questions.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) asked Mr. Zelensky what one thing he needed most, according to two people on the call. The Ukrainian president replied with the need for jet fighters. He also brought up instituting a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but said, through a translator, “if you can’t do that, at least get me planes,” according to a person on the call.

Eastern European allies are in possession of Russian military jets that potentially could be transferred to Ukraine. Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said that the U.S. should help make possible the transfer of the aircraft. “We must eliminate every obstacle to providing every measure of support to Ukraine to include finding a way for the United States to compensate our Eastern European partners who wish to donate their Soviet-style aircraft to Ukraine,” he said in a statement.

Another lawmaker said in an interview that Congress could direct funds in a pending spending bill to replenish the stockpiles of European allies.

Mr. Zelensky said that the jets were more important than the Stinger antiaircraft missiles that the U.S. has greenlighted.

A U.S. defense official said other allied nations are seeking to provide Ukraine with Russian aircraft. The U.S. military would backfill with American aircraft...

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