Duda added: “As for the MiG-29s, which continue to serve as defenders of Polish airspace, the decision has been made at the highest level, we can say with confidence that we will send MiGs to Ukraine.”
Warsaw has taken the lead among NATO allies by supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. Poland’s statement that it will send the Soviet-designed aircraft is a step beyond other alliance commitments and could pressure other members to follow suit.
The United States said Thursday that Poland’s proposal does not require Washington to act because other NATO countries have been reluctant to go much further than they decided earlier this year to send tanks to Kiev.
Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw with his new colleague, the Polish president expressed his people’s and the Czech Republic’s support for Kyiv. Petr Pavelreported CNN.
President Duda also said: “The Czech Republic and Poland are countries that are absolutely at the forefront of supporting Ukraine, both at the humanitarian and military levels.”
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland was one of the most vocal opponents of Russia in Europe. Many in Polish political and diplomatic circles still see Russia from a Cold War perspective. Warsaw has always been of the opinion that Putin is an unreliable leader and that Russia’s expansion must be resisted at all costs. It is one of the few NATO countries with a legal obligation to meet its 2 percent GDP defense spending commitment and is an active member of the European Defense Community.
The deployment of MiGs is unusual for Poland and is fully in line with its NATO membership.
However, this could change the alliance’s internal dynamics and act as an incentive for more nations, or it could infuriate anti-NATO nations like Hungary to get more involved in the fight.
The main concern is whether it will put pressure on the US and the UK, which would then put pressure on Germany. In the end, Poland probably intended to put pressure on other allies.
According to the White House, the president Joseph Biden will not send F-16s because Poland’s decision to send the fighters is a “sovereign choice” made Thursday.
John KirbyA senior official at the US National Security Council, insisted that it did not change his organization’s thinking about the F-16s.
He said: “These are sovereign decisions for any country, and we respect those sovereign decisions,” adding: “They get to determine not only what they’re going to give, but how they’re going to characterize it.”
“I wouldn’t think it’s our place to characterize Poland’s decision one way or the other,” Kirby said, denying he endorsed the decision.
He said Biden, who earlier this year announced he would not send US warplanes to Ukraine, disagrees with the choice of Poland.
Ukraine has argued that it needs US fighter jets in addition to tanks to defend itself against Russian missile and drone attacks.
But U.S. and NATO officials have expressed doubts about the initiative, arguing that the jets would be unrealistic because they would require significant training and that Russia has powerful anti-aircraft systems that could easily shoot them down.
Source: The Nordic Page