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U.S. in Talks to Supply Ukraine with Fighter Jets, Blinken Says

A proposed deal that would have seen former Eastern Bloc countries in the EU deliver Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine fell apart earlier this month.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the EU Commission headquarters on March 4 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the EU Commission headquarters on March 4 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

The U.S. is looking at ways that it can help facilitate the supply of fighter jets to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Why it matters: In the absence of a no-fly zone, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded European countries to provide Ukraine with fighter jets to help fend off Russia’s aerial assault.

  • A proposed deal that would have seen former Eastern Bloc countries in the EU deliver Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine fell apart earlier this month.

The big picture: U.S. officials said Saturday that they are exploring a deal with Poland in which the latter would supply Ukraine with the used Russian warplanes in exchange for American F-16 jet fighters, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • “We’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to back fill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to to the Ukrainians,” Blinken told Face the Nation.
  • “How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to- to the Ukrainians? We’re in very active discussions with them about that,” he added.

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