Tue, 28 Mar 2023

Poland explains stance on war planes for Ukraine

07 Feb 2023, 01:43 GMT+10

The transfer of fighter jets must first be approved within NATO, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said

NATO members have not reached a consensus on the possibility of sending fighter jets to Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said. He noted that such a move must be approved by the bloc as a whole.

"If we are not consistent in supporting Ukraine, the future of Europe will be in question and the price we have to pay will be very high," Morawiecki told Spanish newspaper El Mundo in an interview published on Monday. 

"However, all decisions on jet fighters will be made within NATO, and there is no agreement at the moment ... No decision has been made." 

The statement comes after Polish Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz said last week that Warsaw was not planning on supplying Kiev with US-made F-16s. He insisted that this step could only be taken "in full coordination" with other NATO members. 

Last month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky renewed his plea for the country's Western supporters to donate military aircraft. France and the Netherlands have said in the past that they were open to the transfer of the jets.

READ MORE: Top EU diplomat speaks out on fighter jets for Ukraine - media

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has denied that Washington was considering sending the F-16s to Ukraine. German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said last week that delivering fighter jets would "probably" be crossing a line with Russia and risk making Berlin a direct party to the conflict.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov earlier said that continued deliveries serve as further proof that Western countries were directly involved in the hostilities.


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