United States working on deal to supply fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the United States is working on a deal with Poland to supply Ukraine with jets amid Russia’s invasion.

“We are looking actively now at the question of airplanes that Poland may provide to Ukraine and looking at how we might be able to backfill should Poland decide to supply those planes,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“I can’t speak to a timeline but I can just say we’re looking at it very, very actively.”

His comments came after Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a call on Saturday with US Congress members, asked Washington to facilitate the transfer of used Russian planes from Eastern European allies.

Multiple news outlets, meanwhile, reported that the US and Poland are working together to provide Polish Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine.

Four US officials told Politico the two governments are working on a deal, with the question of how to transfer the planes being the biggest difficulty in a potential arrangement.

“We are working with the Poles on this issue and consulting with the rest of our NATO allies,” a White House spokesperson told Politico.

“We are also working on the capabilities we could provide to backfill Poland if it decided to transfer planes to Ukraine.”

Russia unleashed a full-scale invasion of Ukraine late last month, sending shockwaves to the world.

Western countries have hit the Russian economy with crippling sanctions since then, including removing major Russian banking entities from the SWIFT global transfer system.

Many Western states have also helped Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid.