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The US has turned down a Polish Government offer to deploy all its MIG-29 jets at a US Air Force (USAF) air base in Germany for use by Ukraine.
The move came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s repeated appeals for additional warplanes to defend the country against advancing Russian forces.
Poland offered to send its entire MIG-29 fleet to the USAF’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany and place them at the disposal of the US Government.
The Ukrainian Air Force, which flies the MIG-29, could have started using the Russian-made aircraft without additional training, experts told Reuters.
In a statement, Poland also requested other Nato allies with MIG-29 jets to do the same.
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However, the US rejected the offer citing that the prospect of fighter jets flying from a US/Nato base in Germany into contested airspace would raise ‘serious concerns for the entire Nato alliance’.
Pentagon Press Secretary John F Kirby said: “It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it.
“We will continue to consult with Poland and our other Nato allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”
Previously, US President Joe Biden ruled out sending US troops to Ukraine, a move that would have placed Nato in direct conflict with nuclear-powered Russia.
However, the US and other Nato allies continue to send weapons and other equipment to Ukraine.
Recently, it was also reported that the Polish Government is planning to increase defence spending more than previously planned. It also aims to increase the number of troops from 143,500 to 300,000.