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US in talks with Poland on sending fighter jets to Ukraine

you.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated on Sunday that the United States is in active discussions with Poland to fill its fleet with planes if it supplies Ukraine with fighter jets.

Blinken said the United States was assessing how it could support Poland if the country allowed a transfer of used MiG-29s to Ukraine as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeals for support in a appearance on CBS News Confront the Nation.

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“We are currently discussing with our Polish friends what we could do to meet their needs if, in fact, they chose to supply these fighter jets to the Ukrainians,” Blinken said. “We are in very active discussions with them about this.”

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova later said in Sunday’s segment that the country needed “all the support to back up” its fight.

In response to a question about when Ukraine hopes to receive the planes, Markarova said: “We hope as soon as possible.”

The Polish Prime Minister’s Chancellery appeared to reject reports that Poland had decided to send fighter jets to Ukraine, writing in a tweet that it was “misinformation”.

“Poland will not send its fighter jets to #Ukraine and will not allow the use of its airports. We are helping significantly in many other areas,” the office wrote in a tweet.

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Ukraine had about 69 combat aircraft, 34 attack helicopters, 112 helicopters and five special mission aircraft before the start of the Russian invasion, according to to a 2022 estimate from Global Firepower.

In recent weeks, countries around the world have sent arms shipments to help Ukrainian forces.

Last month, the United States approved a $350 million military aid package that provided Ukraine with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, among other weapons.