Poland hesitant about transfer of jet fighters to Ukraine as it only has 48 F-16s, defense chief says

6 February, 07:00 PM
Mariusz Blaszczak (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Mariusz Blaszczak (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak during an interview with the Sieci weekly published on Feb. 4 dodged the question of whether Warsaw would give Ukraine F-16 fighter jets, saying only that his country has "too few" of them.

Blaszczak said that in his opinion, the full-scale war against Ukraine unleashed by Russia will last for a long time, and "a free Ukraine means a free Poland."

He said he was convinced that if Russian dictator Vladimir Putin succeeded in occupying the whole of Ukraine, he would not stop there.

According to the minister, Poland is strengthening its borders and is continuing to help Ukraine. However, when the journalists asked Blaszczak whether Warsaw was ready to transfer its F-16 aircraft to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, he did not give a direct answer.

Video of day

"We have too few of them, only 48," Polskie Radio quoted Blaszczak as saying.

“It's a pity that when we made the decision to purchase them, we didn't choose a larger contract. It was Polish pressure that led to Ukraine receiving Patriot air defense systems and Leopard tanks.”

Earlier, commenting on the possible supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the country was strengthening its security and was ready to negotiate with allies to support Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he supports the delivery of F-16s to Kyiv if NATO partners collectively take this step.

On Jan. 29, media reported that Poland had provided Ukraine with "some" MiG-29s under the guise of spare parts back in early 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the allies to provide Ukraine with longer-range missiles and F-16s during a meeting in the Ramstein format on Jan. 20. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that some of Ukraine's European partners have already "taken up the issue of fighter jets."

Politico reported that European countries are discussing the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine after the decision to transfer tanks, but some NATO countries fear a possible escalation. At the same time, both the European Union and the United States believe that it is only a matter of time before Kyiv receives the aircraft.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news