On Tuesday, the Polish government announced that it was ready to deploy its entire fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a US airbase in Germany, giving Washington the option to supply the planes to Ukraine.
The Polish Foreign Ministry said that Poland is “ready to immediately transfer all their MIG-29 planes free of charge to the base in Ramstein and place them at the disposal” of the US government.
The announcement signals that Poland does not want to use its territory to transfer the planes to Ukraine over fears that the move could provoke Russia. US officials said this week that they would backfill Poland’s air force fleet with US-made planes if Warsaw gives its MiG-29s to Ukraine.
“Poland is asking the United States of America to provide it with used aircraft with similar operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately agree on the terms of purchase of these machines,” Poland’s Foreign Ministry said.
If the US goes ahead with the plan to give Ukraine the MiG-29s, it would be a significant escalation in Washington’s military support for Kyiv. Whether US pilots fly the planes into Ukraine or Ukrainian pilots fly them from Germany, Russia might view the move as the US directly entering the conflict.