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US “actively working” for Poland to supply planes to Kyiv

The United States is “actively working” to agree with Poland to send warplanes to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today during a visit to Moldova.

“It is impossible to talk about a timetable, but I can say that we are looking into the matter very, very actively,” Blinken told the press.

According to Blinken, the United States is in “very active conversations with the Ukrainian authorities … for a final assessment of their needs.”

“In the course of this assessment, we will see what we, our allies and our partners can provide” to strengthen Ukrainian forces’ defenses against the Russian invasion, he added.

“We are now actively looking into the issue of planes that Poland can supply to Ukraine and looking at how we can compensate Poland if [the country] decides to go ahead with this supply of planes,” added the Secretary of State.

Several US media outlets have advanced the possibility of a possible deal between the US and Poland for Warsaw to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era warplanes in exchange for US F-16 fighter jets.

“We are working with Poles on this issue and we are consulting with our NATO allies,” said a White House official, quoted by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and NBC.

Kyiv has been urging Western countries to provide military assistance, including planes, to defend against the Russian invasion, which has entered its 11th day today.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked Eastern European countries to supply him with Russian-made planes, as Ukrainians know how to fly them.

According to the WSJ, which cites two people who participated in a virtual conversation held on Saturday between the Ukrainian President and elected members of the US Congress, Zelensky called for fighter jets when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked him what element what I needed most.

During that conversation, the Ukrainian President also called for the imposition of tougher economic sanctions on Russia, including a ban on Russian oil and gas imports.

During the conversation, elected members of the US Congress also promised to unlock 10 billion dollars (9.1 billion euros) to help Ukraine.

The White House has, however, ruled out the possibility of banning Russian energy imports at this stage, fearing a rise in prices for US consumers, already affected by record inflation.

The United States announced last week that it would provide Ukraine with military aid worth 350 million dollars (about 320 million euros), which constitutes the largest military aid in US history.

In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that, according to Kyiv authorities, has already killed more than 2,000 civilians.

The attacks also caused more than 1.5 million people to flee to neighboring countries, according to the UN.

The Russian invasion was condemned by most of the international community, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic sanctions on Moscow.

Source: with agencies

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