As fighting across Ukraine continues, Slavic countries are providing increasing support to their besieged neighbor, both in humanitarian efforts and military support. Poland has been one of the more outspoken supporters of Ukraine since the invasion of the country began on February 24.
Warsaw is ready to deploy all its MIG-29 fighter jets to Rammstein Air Base in Germany and put them at the disposal of the United States, and urges other NATO members that own planes of that type to do the same, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Putin will never stop, he will always seek to expand his empire" Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was quoted saying.
US lawmakers pushed President Joe Biden's administration on Monday to facilitate the transfer of fighter aircraft to Ukraine from Poland and other NATO and Eastern European countries, after a plea on Saturday from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Pentagon appeared to dismiss Poland's proposal on Tuesday to put its MiG-29s at the disposal of the US at a base in Germany in response to Ukraine's call for fighter jets, saying it was not "tenable."
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that the prospect of the jets' departing from a US and NATO base in Germany "to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance."
"We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one," Kirby said.
"The authorities of the Republic of Poland... are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Rammstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America," Poland's Foreign Ministry said.
"At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities," it said. "Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes."