US, Poland consider sending Soviet-era jets to Ukraine

United States officials are considering a deal with Poland, where Poland would provide Soviet-era aircraft to Ukraine in return for American F-16 jet fighters, according to US media.

The latest move to assist Ukraine with Russia’s advance follows a meeting between Volodymyr Zelensky and more than 300 US lawmakers in which the Ukrainian leader said his country badly needed more aircraft.

“We are working with the Poles on this issue and consulting with the rest of our Nato allies,” a White House official told US media. Part of the decision rests on what the US could provide to backfill Poland if it transferred planes to Ukraine.

Ukrainian pilots reportedly need Russian-made aircraft because they have been specifically trained to fly on those systems.

The White House said President Joe Biden spoke to Zelensky on Saturday evening and noted that the US was “surging” security, humanitarian, and economic aid to Ukraine “and is working closely with Congress to secure additional funding”.

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