U.S. calls Poland's surprise public offer to route MiG-29s to Ukraine through a U.S. airbase 'not tenable'

Bulgarian MiG-29
(Image credit: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine wants more fighter jets to help its outmatched air force battle Russian invaders, and the U.S. and Europe want Ukraine to have dozens of donated MiG-29s, but nobody seems ready to take on the risks and responsibilities of getting them into Ukraine's hands. Poland caught U.S. officials off guard on Tuesday by publicly offering to send its MiG-29s to a U.S. airbase in Germany and let the U.S. figure out how to get the jets to Ukraine, and the U.S. quickly said that "proposal is not a tenable one."

"The prospect of fighter jets 'at the disposal of the government of the United States of America' departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance," Pentagon spokesman Jack Kirby said in a statement. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland told lawmakers on Tuesday she heard about Poland's offer "as I was literally driving here today," instead of a meeting she had just left where she "ought to have heard about" it.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.