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NATO countries have ‘green light’ to send fighter jets to Ukraine, says Blinken


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NATO members have a “green light” to send fighter jets as part of their military aid to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.

“It gets the green light,” Blinken said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

“In fact, we are currently discussing with our Polish friends what we could do to meet their needs if they in fact chose to supply these fighter jets to the Ukrainians,” Blinken added.

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The decision comes amid a push to supply arms to Ukrainian forces as they continue to battle superior Russian firepower.

The United States is reportedly considering a deal with Poland to send American fighter jets to Warsaw to replace all of the Soviet-era fighter jets the NATO country sends to Ukraine.

Under the proposal, Ukrainians would receive Russian-made MiGs that Poland inherited after the end of the Cold War, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a photo opportunity with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu at the Department of State, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

In a Zoom call Saturday with more than 280 U.S. lawmakers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed fighter jets more than the anti-aircraft missiles the U.S. had agreed to, according to the Wall. StreetJournal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. referred to that appeal on Sunday and said he supported the United States providing aid to other countries – such as Poland – if it decided to supply Ukraine with jet planes from the soviet era.

Schumer said the jets are owned by Poland and other Eastern European countries and Ukrainian pilots are trained to use them.

“These planes and other capabilities are very much needed,” Schumer said, according to the New York Post. “Today, I urge the administration to explore all possible options for the transfer of these specific aircraft to Ukraine.”

“The United States could pledge to help restore a donor nation’s fleet in return for the transfer, and I offer my full support for that to happen,” he added. “We must help Ukraine overcome the ongoing Russian bombardment and siege with aircraft and other capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Zelenskyy’s call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine continues to garner no support.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday morning, Zelenskyy delivered an English-captioned message that read, “We say everyday: ‘Close the skies over Ukraine!'”

The White House said it did not agree to the no-fly restrictions because it wanted to prevent the United States from coming into direct conflict with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow will consider any attempt by other countries to establish a no-fly zone as “active participation in the armed conflict”.

“The reason this hasn’t been something the president was willing to take or that we wanted to take is because a no-fly zone needs to be put in place. That would require, essentially, the military shoot down Russian planes and cause a — causing a potential direct war with Russia, something — the exact step we want to avoid,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday during a briefing. briefing.

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On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa echoed that belief, arguing that a no-fly zone would not be in the states best interest. States, although it was understandable for Ukraine to want one.

“I think we need to be clear that we’re not going to go to war with Russia, that would be the start of World War III, and that would drag all of Europe into a much larger war,” he said. said Murphy.

“We don’t want to engage directly with the Russians,” Ernst noted. “But what we can do…is provide all the defensive mechanisms for President Zelenskyy and his armed forces to provide their own protected airspace.”

On Sunday, Blinken also said the United States was considering banning Russian oil imports “in coordination” with European and NATO allies – amid bipartisan calls for a full embargo.

Blinken added that Ukrainian officials also have a plan ready in case Zelenskyy is killed.

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“The Ukrainians have plans in place, which I won’t go into or go into in detail, to ensure that there is what we would call ‘continuity of government’ one way or another” , Blinken said. “And leave it at that.”


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