GOP senators urge Biden to help 'transfer aircraft' to Ukraine, criticize stance on Poland's MiG-29 offer

GOP senators urge Biden to help ‘transfer aircraft’ to Ukraine, criticize stance on Poland’s MiG-29 offer



US officials have criticized Poland’s proposal to move MiG-29s through the US, saying they risk escalation without significantly changing the situation in Ukraine, given that the Ukrainian air force is largely intact. When asked about the senator’s Thursday evening speech, White House spokesman Sean Savitt referred to the comments From The Pentagon And the US Army Leader in Europe expressing those opinions.

The Republican lawmakers’ rhetoric increases pressure on the Biden administration to move forward and underscores the party’s support for major actions against the Kremlin. The White House announced a Ban on the import of Russian oil and natural gas This week with bipartisan support and Congress Passed successfully A multi-billion dollar aid package for Ukraine that would provide military and humanitarian support and help NATO allies.

The Senators’ letter, which includes the signature of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (right, the Senators’ letter, which includes the signature of the Senate Minority Leader), begins, “Support Ukraine’s war for freedom against the illegal tyrannical Russian invasion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory It is among the most pressing tasks the West has faced in a generation.”—Ke.

“We urge you to direct your Department of Defense to immediately facilitate the transfer of aircraft, air defense systems, and other capabilities through and through our NATO partners,” the senators wrote.

occur earlier in Press ConferenceSenator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) dismissed concerns about provoking Russia and said the United States should meet a specific request from Ukraine. “It is time… for [Putin] Fearful of what we might do,” Romney said, referring to the United States and NATO.

Many countries responded to the Russian invasion with sanctions, but were not willing to join Ukraine’s war with a great power. The United States fears military assistance that Russia could interpret as a more direct participation in the war.

On Thursday, the Pentagon ruled out sending Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, where a senior US defense official said the system was unfamiliar to Ukrainians and would require US troops on the ground.

Poland stunned US leaders this week by saying it would give MiG-29s to the US for use in the war. Poland said in a statement that it was ready to deploy the aircraft to a US military facility in Germany “immediately and free of charge.”

The United States quickly dismissed the idea: “We don’t think Poland’s proposal is defensible,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. He said that such aircraft “departing from the US/NATO base in Germany to fly into the disputed airspace with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO.”

“We believe that the most effective way to support the Ukrainian army in its fight against Russia is to provide increased quantities of anti-tank weapons and air defense systems, which is an ongoing issue with the international community,” Walters said in the statement.

Vice President Harris on Thursday met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and sought to downplay the dispute over the MiG-29, saying the US relationship with Poland and NATO. Still going strong.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) He said last week He will work to give Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “desperate plea” to buy planes from countries in Eastern Europe. Senator Robert Menendez (DNJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter On Monday, he urged rapid coordination with Poland “to provide Ukraine with aircraft from the Soviet era.” He said the United States and NATO allies should commit to replacing the donated aircraft.

These comments came from Poland’s proposal The Russian-made MiG-29s are being placed “at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America” ​​and are going to Ramstein Air Force Base, a US facility in Germany.

Thursday’s speech from Republican lawmakers sharpens a variance Between their stance on Ukraine and comments last month from former President Donald Trump, who described Putin’s actions in Ukraine’s breakaway regions. “genius” While echoing the allegations of the Russian president to send a “peacekeeping” force.

speaking lately For major GOP donors, Trump took a different tone, dismissing suggestions that he is a “Putin apologist” and mocking Biden for excluding military engagement with Russia.

John Hudson and Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.