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The US gave a nod, then rejected Poland’s offer: All about Ukraine’s fighter aircraft saga

Source: India Today

The US gave a nod, then rejected Poland’s offer: All about Ukraine’s fighter aircraft saga
Polish Air Force Mig-29A fighters

Ukraine’s quest for additional fighter jets to take on Russia’s air superiority has hit a dead end. With the inconsistent stand taken by the United States and Poland, there is little hope for Ukraine to get the Soviet-era MiG-29s they were hoping for.

Just days after the US green-lit Nato countries providing fighter aircraft to Ukraine, the efforts only seem to be just symbolic that cannot fructify on the ground. 

In a fresh offer, Poland said it's willing to give 28 MiG-29 fighter jets that can be operated from the Ramstein airbase, the US air force base in Germany. 

The US has rejected the offer saying it's not tenable as it could trigger an escalation between Russia and the Nato countries. Also Read: | Ukraine calls for ceasefire to restore power in Chernobyl plant 

“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,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said.

Initially, Poland denied reports that it would send its MiGs-29s to Ukraine in exchange for US-made F-16s.

Russia is far superior to Ukraine when it comes to air superiority. Ukraine has around 90 fighter jets and 34 attack helicopters against Russia’s 1,500 fighter aircraft and 538 combat choppers. 

Earlier, the European Union had also said that it would send fighter aircraft to Ukraine but it's not clear which countries have made the offer. It was speculated that Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia could be among those who can provide air support, since they use Mig-29 and Su-25 which the Ukraine air force also uses. 

While the US and other Nato countries have provided military aid like anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition among other military needs, providing fighter aircraft is a sticky subject as it will likely be viewed as direct involvement in the war.

Despite Nato not joining the war, Ukraine has been fighting, putting up stiff resistance against Russia for a fortnight now. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also been pushing for a no-fly zone, which essentially means no Russian aircraft can enter the Ukrainian airspace; a request that’s been rejected by the US and Nato as it would mean direct involvement.

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