For days there have been reports that Poland was considering an offer to give MiG fighter jets to Ukraine in exchange for upgraded replacement equipment from the United States. Now it’s official – and Poland isn’t just giving some MiGs to Ukraine, it’s giving all of its MiGs to Ukraine.
The deal, as announced by the Polish government today, involves Poland taking all of its MiG jets to the U.S. military base in Germany, where the U.S. will then presumably transfer them to Ukrainian control. In exchange, Poland will receive used U.S. fighter jets. This will allow Ukraine, whose pilots are trained to fly MiGs, the ability to instantly put the jets to use.
Poland is also publicly encouraging other NATO nations with MiG jets to make the same deal with the United States. This will place pressure on these nations to do so, even if they’ve been hesitant up to now.
If Ukraine receives enough MiGs as part of this process, it may be able to establish its own “no fly zone” over its airspace, thus shutting down Russia’s ability to launch aerial attacks. Ukraine has been publicly asking NATO to establish a no fly zone, but NATO has declined due to fear that it would only escalate things. But if Ukraine can pull off its own no fly zone, then the debate about a NATO no fly zone becomes moot.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report