EU/UKRAINE: An EU plan to send fighter jets to Ukraine appears to be falling apart as each country that was reportedly going to deliver the planes is now denying involvement.
The plan announced Monday by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel was meant to give Ukraine old Russian-made MiG-29 and Su-24 fighter jets, which Ukraine’s pilots are already trained to fly. Poland, Bulgaria, and Slovakia were reportedly lined up to transfer the planes, but officials from each country denied the plan.
“Slovakia will not provide fighter jets to Ukraine,” the Slovak Foreign Ministry told Newsweek on Tuesday. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said Monday that Bulgaria doesn’t have enough warplanes to guard its own airspace, let alone enough to send to Ukraine.
On Monday, Ukraine’s parliament claimed Poland planned on giving Ukraine MiG-29 fighters, but Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denied the plans. “Poland doesn’t have such plans,” Mateusz said on Tuesday.
An unnamed EU diplomat told Politico that some EU countries were “outraged” after Borrel announced that the bloc would be giving Ukraine warplanes since his announcement came shortly after Russia’s nuclear forces were put on high alert.
“Making such announcements on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced to put his nuclear deterrence force on ‘high alert’ risks to escalate the situation further,” the diplomat said.
While the EU isn’t sending fighter jets, the US and its European allies have been busy pledging to send new weapons to Ukraine, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles. Ukraine has asked for the Western powers to establish a “no-fly zone,” but the request has been ruled out by the US and NATO since it would mean direct military confrontation with Russia.
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