Russia’s war with Ukraine has been deadly and unceasing since it started just over two weeks ago. One proposal has gotten a lot of attention recently, which is for Poland to provide its MiG-29 jets to Ukraine while the United States gives Poland jets that will replace those.
Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, said that the WH is considering the MiGs to be offensive weapons. The federal government has felt that such a move might place the United States in the middle of the war while also escalating it even further.
“But the main thing here is that Pres. Biden looked at the assessments of our Intel Community, took the advice of the military commanders, consulted with all the NATO allies, and ultimately decided that the cost benefit analysis didn’t justify flying fighter jets from a United States base in Germany into Ukraine’s contested airspace,” explained Sullivan.
Republican Senator Rob Portman disagrees with that assessment. He, alongside many other senators, traveled to Poland and has argued from Poland and Washington for the transfer of the MiG-29 jets. According to him, it does not matter what Putin or Russia says about this being an escalatory move as they usually claim everything that NATO does is an escalatory action.
“The Russians have argued about everything,” says Portman. “Vladimir Putin has stated that the sanctions are considered an act of war. They surely complained when we gave Stingers directly from the United States government, which can knock down a jet and have been successful in targeting jets at lower altitudes. We have provided helicopters to them. As recently as Jan., we provided them United States military helicopters.”
Republicans are not the only ones who are going against the Biden Administration. Dem. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been advocating for the transfer of the jets as well. While visiting Poland she said she understands the White house position While, but she still is pushing for the jets to be transfered.
“I made it clear to them, I spoke to the Pres. himself around 10 days ago about it,” Klobuchar said. “I would like to see the jets over there but remember things can shift. As things start to become a target, because there is so much public talk about them, that could become a problem itself.”
While the WH is ruling out the transfer, for now, billions of dollars’ worth of weapons sales and humanitarian aid continues to flow into Ukraine as they are fighting back against Vladimir Putin’s ongoing assault on their country’s sovereignty.