Ukrainian foreign minister calls on the West to send more fighter planes to defend against Russia

Washington --Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba continued to call on the United States and its allies to send fighter jets to Ukraine in order to strengthen its defenses against Russia’s relentless attacks.

Ukrainian foreign minister calls on the West to send more fighter planes to defend against Russia

Kuleba called the planes "the most urgent issue" and "highest demand".

"If we lose control of the sky, two things will happen: Russian bombers can destroy our cities and kill civilians. When asked by Face the Nation what type of military equipment Ukraine requires from its allies and partners, Kuleba stated that we cannot destroy Russian columns headed towards our large cities on the roads. We need more planes to achieve these two goals. This is the most urgent issue.
Since January 2021, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $1.2B in security assistance. On Saturday, President Biden approved an additional $200M in small arms and equipment. The latest round of military aid was not the only one. Congress sent Thursday
to President Biden a $1.5 trillion package of government spending that included $13.6 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

Kuleba stated that Ukraine needed planes to "save [the] lives and fight Russia's air force."

He stated, "Frankly speaking we don't get all the reasons why we shouldn't be given those airplanes. We will continue to put pressure...from all corners and request this assistance from the United States of America and other partners."

The U.S. was trying to make a deal to send their Russian-made fighter aircraft to Ukraine. On Monday, Secretary Antony Blinken stated to "Face the Nation " that Poland has been given the "green-light" to send jets to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon stated that a proposal by Poland to allow the U.S. to transfer its warplanes on to Ukraine was not "tenable" and raises serious concerns for NATO.

Kuleba described the "diplomatic mystery" of the back-and forth over plans to provide Ukraine fighter jets.

He said, "On one hand, everybody is ready to do so, but nothing's happening and we aren't getting the planes." It reminds me of other pingpong games where each side throws the ball to another side and receives it back. This kind of pingpong diplomacy is not possible.

The argument that the U.S. would hand over their jets to increase tensions already high with Russia was "flawed," according to Ukraine's foreign minister.

"The drones don't escalatory, but the planes do escalatory." It is hard to understand why. Kuleba stated that anti-tank weapons and planes were not escalatory. "First, what does Russia need to do to make everyone understand that Russia has already reached the top of escalation?" Kuleba said. As I said in the beginning they used weapons that were not allowed under international conventions. We are afraid of an additional escalation. We must defend ourselves."

He said, "I don’t understand what else must happen. What kind of atrocity must be committed for foreigners so that all these flawed arguments can be put aside and provide us with the things we need."

Kuleba stated that Ukraine does not expect the NATO alliance of 30 members to defend it. However, he said that Ukraine only needs the weapons and equipment needed to defend itself.

He said, "What we're asking is a very simple thing." We say to arm Ukraine, and we'll do the rest. We will fight for our land and our people if you give us all the weapons we need.


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