WARSAW, Poland — Polish government officials say that Poland has not sent, and will not send, its fighter jets to Ukraine to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
A deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, says in an interview on Radio Zet: “We will not open our airports and Polish planes will not fight over Ukraine … Polish planes will not fight over Ukraine.”
But separately the government spokesman, Piotr Mueller, indicates a final decision had not been made. He says that a decision on whether to send fighter jets presents risks and is a “very delicate matter.”
The comments come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky begged the United States to help Kyiv get more warplanes to fight Russia’s invasion and retain control of its airspace.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Washington was looking at a proposal under which Poland would supply Kyiv with Soviet-era fighters and in turn receive American F-16s to make up for their loss.
Poland has been less than enthusiastic about the idea, at least publicly, largely because Russia has warned that supporting Ukraine’s air force would be seen in Moscow as participating in the conflict and could create a risk of retaliation.