However, the US Department of Defense opposes the transfer of Polish planes to Ukraine, a senior administration official told POLITICO, and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby cited complications both in terms of the consequences and the consequences. need and military of this action.
Specifically, on Tuesday, Blinken expressed concern about the prospect of US pilots departing from a NATO-controlled base in Germany into disputed Russian airspace over Ukraine. Such a deal could drag the US and NATO into open conflict with Russia.
“We weren’t simply clear that there was a good reason to do it the way it was made yesterday,” Blinken said. “So what we’re doing now is continuing to consult very closely with Poland and other NATO allies on this issue and the logistical challenges facing this country.”
Blinken on Wednesday also rejected calls for a partial NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine, an idea that has captured the attention of foreign policy elites in the US. Blinken claims that such enforcement – including the entry of US pilots into Ukrainian airspace – “would almost certainly lead to direct conflict” between US and Russian forces.
“That would widen the conflict. It will lengthen it. Blinken said. “And that would not be in the interest of our nations, nor in the interest of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked NATO member states to implement a no-fly zone and provide fighter jets, including during a Zoom call with US lawmakers on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Zelenskyy called for an “immediate” solution between Poland and the US, noting that the Ukrainians “have no time” for hesitation.
“This is not ping pong! This is about human life! ” said Zelenskyy in a speech. “We ask again: let’s solve it faster. Don’t transfer responsibility, send the plane to us”.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday confirmed that discussions are ongoing between Ukrainian officials and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Mark Milley and other DoD officials. And Vice President Kamala Harris departed a previously planned trip to Warsaw on Wednesday morning, where she will meet Polish leaders and discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
“If I were in President Zelenskyy’s position, I’m sure I would ask everything I can, in his mind, to help the Ukrainian people,” Blinken said.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/09/blinken-ukraine-poland-fighter-jets-00015747?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Blinken: US focused on delivering Ukrainian jets ‘in the right way’