Poland has agreed to hand over all of its MIG-29 fighter jets to a US airbase “immediately and free of charge” as part of a plan to provide aircraft to the Ukrainians.
In a statement, Poland’s foreign ministry said: “The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the president and the government, 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.
“At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes.
“The Polish government also requests other NATO Allies – owners of MIG-29 jets – to act in the same vein.”
Security and defence analyst Michael Clarke, former director general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Sky News: “The main thing as far as NATO is concerned is to get some aircraft into Ukraine that they can use.
“NATO has been giving arms openly to Ukraine – this is just another type of weapon.”
He said that with Poland handing the jets to the US, it is like Poland saying to Russia “if you want an argument about this, have it with Washington, don’t have it with us”.
And he added: “The main thing is for Ukrainian pilots to find a safe way to take the aircraft into Ukraine.”