US, Poland exploring deal to provide Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine

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The US negotiated with Warsaw about Poland’s supply of Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine in return for F-16 jet fighters, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The Biden administration is in talks with Poland about supplying warplanes to Ukraine, the newspaper said, citing US officials.

The US respond to the call of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who said: “We urgently need fighter jets,” in a video conference call with members of the US Congress on Friday.

Evaluating the issue to the WSJ, White House officials said the US could provide a certain number of F-16s to Poland, while Warsaw could supply Kyiv with Soviet-era warplanes.

Stressing that details such as how the agreement will be made and how the planes will be delivered to Ukraine are still being studied, the officials said that if the agreement is reached, congressional approval will be required and Congress is ready to approve such an agreement.

After meeting with Zelenskyy, congressmen who made statements to American media emphasized that they would support the Biden administration supplying fighter jets to Kyiv.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an assessment in Poland about the supply of fighter jets and said that they were negotiating with allied countries on this issue.

Zelenskyy also requested a no-fly zone above Ukraine but the US and NATO did not approve that request “because it poses the risk of war with Russia.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine has been met by outrage from the international community with the EU, UK, and US, among others, implementing a range of economic sanctions on Moscow.

According to UN figures, at least 331 civilians have been killed and 675 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24.

More than 1.3 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.

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