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Ukraine: It has been reported that the United Kingdom has warned Poland that sending fighter jets to Ukraine may place them in a “direct line of fire” from the Russian air force.
In an interview with Sky News on Tuesday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that while the UK would “support” Poland’s decision to supply Ukraine with fighter jets, Ukraine should be aware of the threat of “retribution” by Moscow.
The announcement comes a day after US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour that US officials are discussing with Poland the possibility of sending MiG-29 fighter jets to support Ukraine. Smith stated that this is a “sovereign decision” for Poland to make.
“Poland borders countries like Belarus, which is allied with Russia, and Poland will understand that the choices it makes will help Ukraine directly, which is a good thing, but may also bring them into conflict with countries like Russia or Belarus,” Wallace said.
Adding that he was not the one to “second guess” Poland’s choice, he stated that there was a “really big responsibility on the shoulders of the president of Poland and the minister of defense.”.
“We will support Poland in whatever decision it makes, Wallace concluded as a fellow NATO member.
Until now, NATO has been insistent that it will not get directly involved in the conflict beyond supporting Ukraine in its resistance to an invasion that is killing civilians, while US officials have said that American troops will not engage directly with Russian troops.
As part of their response to the call for a no-fly zone in Ukraine, both parties warned that it could lead to a “full-fledged war in Europe” and said they are doing everything in their power to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression.