On Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said any decision to send fighter jets to Ukraine must be made by all NATO members.
“Such a serious decision as supplying planes must be unanimous and unequivocally made by the whole North Atlantic alliance,” he said. “We did not agree to supply planes by ourselves because it must be the decision of the whole of NATO.”
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Poland has the “green light” to give Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Poland responded on Tuesday by offering to send the planes to a US airbase in Germany, giving Washington to option to then send them to Ukraine.
The Pentagon said Poland’s offer was not “tenable” since transporting aircraft into Ukraine’s contested airspace from a US base in Germany “raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.”
It’s clear from the Pentagon’s statement that the US understands that sending planes into Ukraine risks entering a direct conflict with Russia, which raises questions about why Blinken said Poland had the “green light” to do it in the first place.
Despite the risks, the US and Poland are still discussing ways to get the fighter jets into Ukraine’s hands. “We continue to consult with our Polish counterparts … there’s been no personal change in the situation, no final decisions one way or another,” a senior Pentagon official said, according to The Hill.