The Pentagon has said it will not enable the transfer of Polish fighter jets to Ukraine, but is open to working with allies on other ways to boost Ukraine’s air defence capabilities.
Spokesman John Kirby said that US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin conveyed that message to his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak earlier on Wednesday.
Kirby lauded Ukraine’s strategic use of its current capabilities to curb the Russian advance, but said “adding aircraft to the Ukrainian inventory is not likely to significantly change [its] effectiveness”.
He noted that deploying the Polish-owned fighter jets from the main US air force base in Germany, as Warsaw had proposed, is “high risk” and “could be mistaken by the Russians as an escalatory step”.
“That is not only not good for Nato, it’s not good for the United States and our national security,” he said.