Ukraine will not be the last country Putin invades, sending Polish and Dutch F-16s to Ukraine would defend Baltic states

Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland on the left.

Ukraine’s close ally Poland has warned that sending fighter jets to Ukraine is ‘not an easy decision’ – after Rishi Sunak dodged Volodymyr Zelensky ‘s appeal. Polish president Andrzej Duda warned there were ‘serious problems’ with donating aircraft for deployment by Kyiv to resist the Russian invasion. In a BBC interview, Mr Duda said Poland did not have enough F16s to spare and pointed out they need maintenance and technical support crews on the ground.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has ruled out the possibility of his country delivering fighter jets to Ukraine without first agreeing the move with allies, as the question divides backers of Kyiv. Such a decision would have to be taken jointly by NATO allies, Duda told the BBC, days before he is due to visit London. Duda said his country’s air force has fewer than 50 U.S.-made F-16 aircraft, which he says is not enough for Poland. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has repeatedly called for fighter jets to help fend off Russian attacks.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s most senior adviser has suggested Poland is willing to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters as Ukraine’s lobbying for the combat jets steps up only a few days after Germany and the US agreed to send over their tanks.

Andriy Yermak said Ukraine had had “positive signals” from Warsaw in a Telegram posting, although Poland’s prime minister was careful to stress his own country would only act in consultation with Nato allies.

“We coordinate all actions aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s defence forces with our Nato partners,” Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference – where he announced plans to lift his country’s defense spending to 4% of GDP – when asked about the jets. Any possible transfer of fighter jets would come “in full coordination” he added.

kraine began its lobbying campaign for the US-made jets almost immediately after Germany and the US said they would supply Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks, but this time its effort could be successful more quickly.

After Dutch ministers last week said they would look at a request for the US-made fighter jets with “an open mind”, Ukraine’s military released a social media video praising the Netherlands and the military support it had received. It said the Dutch had “fought a battle against the sea and won” and added “we would really appreciate F-16s”.

As Ukraine’s neighbour, President Duda has been one of the most ardent supporters of President Zelensky and has contributed vast amounts of military aid, becoming the main supplier of heavy weaponry – including infantry fighting vehicles and artillery, drones and ammunition.

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