Proposed plan to send fighter jets to Ukraine hits logistical snag

WASHINGTON — A proposal to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era fighter jets by way of Poland is struggling to realize traction within the Biden administration, and the U.S. is reviewing whether or not the plan is possible, in accordance with three U.S. officers.

Allied efforts to assist Kyiv acquire fighter jets from its Eastern European neighbors have resulted in a proposal during which Poland would ship Ukraine its outdated Russian-made MiG fighters and the U.S. would exchange them by sending F-16 jets to Warsaw.

At this level, nevertheless, U.S. officers warning that such a plan shouldn’t be anticipated to be enacted any time quickly.

“It’s a lot easier to give hand-held weapons than it is to transfer a plane,” a supply conversant in the discussions mentioned Monday.

The U.S. additionally doesn’t have a surplus of F-16s, officers mentioned.

Officials are equally apprehensive that Russia may see supplying army plane as direct involvement within the battle. Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned final week that his nation wouldn’t ship any planes to Ukraine as a result of it may be seen as interfering within the warfare, whereas Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled that supplying fighter jets would represent direct involvement.

The Polish Embassy in Washington declined to remark.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Sunday that the U.S. was working with Poland on the difficulty however declined to debate timing. Three congressional aides mentioned there’s sturdy bipartisan help for serving to Ukraine safe extra fighter jets from Poland and a few impatience with the Biden administration over the difficulty.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought to bolster his nation’s defenses with new air energy ever for the reason that U.S. and NATO dominated out making a no-fly zone in Ukraine.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki referred Monday to the “layers of different, difficult logistical challenges” surrounding the proposal.

“This is Poland’s sovereign decision to make. We have in no way opposed Poland transferring planes to Ukraine,” Psaki informed reporters.

“There are a number of challenging practical questions, including how the planes would actually be transferred from Poland to Ukraine, right? So, are they going to fly? Where will they depart from? Where will they land? Those are all very important questions here,” she said.

Psaki added that sending F-16s to Poland and replacing them in the U.S. would carry its own challenges. “Procuring new planes and transferring serious weapon systems often take years to do from the United States,” she mentioned.

The proposal emerged greater than every week in the past when the European Union’s overseas coverage chief, Josep Borrell, informed reporters that some member states have been prepared to supply Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine.

Military analysts have mentioned different Russian-made army tools from Eastern European nations, together with surface-to-air missiles and radar, could possibly be of equal use as Ukraine fights again towards Russia.

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