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Members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee call for American airpower in Ukraine

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Biden administration should speed up the export of aircraft and air defense systems to Ukraine.

Ernst commended Washington for providing lethal aid to Ukraine, but explained that he was "strongly" opposed to the decision to "delay and deny" a move by Poland to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine.

“We urge your administration to work with Poland and our NATO allies to expedite the transfer of urgently-needed airpower, air defense systems, and other combat and support capabilities from the United States, NATO allies, and other European partners to Ukraine,” said the letter.

According to Ernst, Russia is currently targeting Ukraine's people, public infrastructure, farms, hospitals, daycares, places of work, and even their homes. The military of Ukraine needs more lethal aid now to protect the foundations of the country, which will allow it to function in the future."

According to the letter, the U.S. "cannot allow" Russia an advantage for failing to provide Ukraine with essential weapons and medical supplies. "Needed airpower" must be delivered to Ukraine "without delay" so that civilian lives can be saved.

On March 8, Poland had made known its willingness to send MIG-29 jets to Germany's Ramstein airbase, which they could then deploy to Ukraine. The NATO country called on other nations to follow suit.

In our opinion, it is not clear to us what the substantive rationale is for this. Our NATO allies and we will continue to discuss this issue and the logistical challenges it presents, but we do not view Poland's proposal as tenable," Kirby said.

14 March 2022


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