Harris’ meeting with Polish president complicated by surprise proposal on jets –

Harris’ meeting with Polish president complicated by surprise proposal on jets –

Harris’ meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Romanian leaders the next day was conceived as an attempt to persuade countries on Europe’s eastern flank to increasingly worry that Russia will target NATO neighbors afterwards. having completed the invasion of Ukraine. President Biden has promised to protect these countries in accordance with the NATO agreement, even if this commitment has not materialized.

Blinken warns Russia not to join NATO countries

But the day before Harris’ trip, things got complicated. On Tuesday, Poland announced it had delivered an unspecified number of MiG-29 fighters to a US military base to push back Russian forces in Ukraine, asking the US to significantly supplement its supply of Polish military aircraft with other aircraft.

The Polish Ministry of Defense has announced its readiness to immediately and free of charge all MiG-29 aircraft at Rammstein Air Base and put them in the service of the US government. Rammstein is an American military facility located in Germany.

However, the United States turned down this offer. “We don’t think Poland’s proposal is convincing,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday. He said.

However, the idea caused a sensation in the alliance. A European official said in an interview that Western officials were surprised by Poland’s statement, while another European official was “fired”.

These are the turbulent waters that Harris had to go through on Thursday. The US has imposed sanctions on Russia to punish its leadership since the invasion of Ukraine last month, but has stopped direct military intervention that could lead to a more direct NATO alliance clashing with Russia.

Poland’s proposal – and the possibility of US-controlled planes taking off from a NATO air base in Ukraine – threaten this cautious balance. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long argued that his country’s aggression is a response to Western aggression, and US officials fear that a Polish conspiracy may play a role in history.

Another topic on the agenda of the Harry-Duda meeting is US aid to Ukrainian refugees who have crossed the Polish border since the invasion began.

The meeting will focus on Harris, whose team is working to demonstrate his inexperience on the international stage. At the end of the week, the vice president will visit five countries in the same number of months, including two transatlantic voyages in three weeks.

Harris’s team tries to change course

More broadly, the White House hopes that overcoming the Ukrainian crisis will strengthen American views on Biden’s international leadership, who suffered after the failed US withdrawal from Afghanistan and 13 American soldiers were killed and depicted in the images. Desperate Afghans seek a solution.

Speaking to reporters about the vice president’s trip, a senior administration official declined to give details of any communication between Warsaw and Washington before the Polish government announced its proposal, but said that talks on military aid to Ukraine are in progress. course.

“This is not a one-time situation. “We have discussed this with the entire board and will continue to do so,” the official said, referring to the unnamed rules. He said. “As you can see from the Pentagon statement, we don’t think this is sustainable. But we want that and of course we encourage all allies to come up with ideas and we will coordinate very closely. “

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a White House press conference Wednesday that there is “clear concern” about Polish fighter plans and that “moving (planes) down the street” is not as easy as you think. .

“They have to tear it up and bring it back,” Psaki said. “You must have people who can bring these planes back. You need to make sure they can be transferred securely at the exchange rate of the disputed country. “

Psaki added that the United States did not “limit” the supply of other weapons, such as anti-missile systems and tanks, during the war.

“There are major operational logistical issues and steps here. [and] “There should be conversations between military experts and that’s exactly what’s going on,” he said. A military expert does not need to understand why planes fly from a US airbase to a country at war, not for our benefit and NATO interests.

Source: Washington Post