Ukraine urges US to send warplanes to Poland and other allies

President Volodymyr Zalansky urged Washington to supply Poland and other allies from Eastern Europe with American planes that would allow those countries to send Russian-made military planes to Ukraine.

In a conversation with nearly 300 U.S. lawmakers, Zalanski pleaded for help and said Ukraine desperately needs more planes, especially after NATO decided not to create a no-fly zone because it would risk a wider conflict with Russia, according to people familiar with the call.

Zalansky asked the United States to supply Poland and three other NATO countries with American planes that would allow them to send Russian-made planes to Ukraine, the people said. Ukrainian pilots need Russian-made aircraft because these are the systems they were trained to fly.

Washington is working to provide more support to Ukraine and this week began sending sting missiles against planes – the same weapon the US provided to the mujahideen to fend off the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. But Ukraine stressed that it needed planes to fend off Russia in the air.

One U.S. lawmaker who attended the conversation said Zalansky expressed appreciation for the stings, but said they were not enough because they were unable to fly high enough to take out some of the Russian planes.

While the U.S. and its allies have supplied a variety of weapons to Ukraine, they fear that Vladimir Putin will see the supply of fighter jets as a major escalation that he may interpret as NATO is actually entering into a conflict against Russia.

Ukraine said several Eastern European countries had agreed to supply fighter jets, but claims were rejected. Polish President Andrzej Duda said sending planes would be tantamount to intervening in the conflict.

A senior U.S. defense official said the Pentagon was “not actively entertaining” the idea of ​​sending U.S. Air Force planes to NATO allies to allow them to send their own fighter jets to Ukraine. Another person familiar with the discussion said U.S. officials told allies it was their decision Want to send Russian-made planes to Ukraine.

Brendan Boyle, a Democratic congressman in Philadelphia who participated in the zoom talk, told the Financial Times that there is widespread bipartisan support in Congress to find creative solutions. He cited the example of the U.S. that passed the Loan-Lease Act during World War II to facilitate the supply of countries and arms.

“We need to start looking at analogies to the Loan-Lease Act in terms of its 2022 version for Ukraine,” Boyle said. “There is widespread bipartisan support in Congress and also popular American support to do everything we can to arm the Ukrainians. Politically, this is a relatively easy level.”

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, said Zalansky had submitted a “desperate plea” to Eastern European countries to supply Russian-made aircraft.

Zalansky reminded the group that a No-fly zone Was his top priority but he wanted more planes if that was not possible.

Ben Sasa, a Republican senator, said a no-fly zone means sending American pilots into battle against Russia in a “battle between nuclear powers that could get out of control quickly.” But he said Washington should supply Ukraine with planes, helicopters and drones.

“Let’s re-supply Ukraine’s Air Force today and keep Kyiv’s ghosts in the sky,” Sasa said, referring to unconfirmed stories of a Ukrainian pilot who shot down several Russian planes.

A senior U.S. defense official said Friday that the Pentagon has provided Ukraine with $ 240 million in military aid from President Joe Biden, which was recently approved for $ 350 million. She said the remaining $ 110 million would probably reach Ukraine over the next week and that the administration was working with Congress to secure more funds.

One of the lawmakers who attended the conversation said there is a unified sense that Zalansky is a “world hero.”

Zalansky opened the conversation with a 20-minute plea for further U.S. support. But at one point during his emotional presentation, he paused to ask one of the U.S. lawmakers to silence himself.

“Senator Rick Scott, please silence your microphone,” said the Ukrainian leader who was wearing his usual T-shirt, according to one person in the conversation.

Another report by James Cop

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Ukraine urges US to send warplanes to Poland and other allies Source link Ukraine urges US to send warplanes to Poland and other allies

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