CHISINAU, Moldova — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. government is actively pursuing ways to address Ukraine’s request for combat jets and to replenish Poland’s arsenal should it hand over Soviet-era planes to its besieged neighbor.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday made an impassioned plea to Capitol Hill for assistance in obtaining more lethal military aid, especially Russian-made jet fighters that Ukrainian pilots can fly. Ukraine’s military has largely relied on surface-to-air missiles to challenge Russian military planes flying over the country, with some apparent success.
“We are looking actively now at the question of airplanes that Poland may provide to Ukraine and looking at how we might be able to backfill should Poland choose to supply those planes,” Blinken said on Sunday.
Blinken said the U.S. is working with Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials to get an “up-to-the-minute assessment of their needs.” The U.S. and partners will then assess what can be provided, he said a day after meeting Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during a brief gathering at the Polish-Ukrainian border at which Kuleba asked the U.S. to do more to aid its country militarily.
“I can’t speak to a timeline, but I can just tell you that we’re looking at it very, very actively,” Blinken told reporters during a stop in Moldova as he traveled across Europe to reassure allies there about U.S. support in the wake of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
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