Kamala Harris, Poland president insist they’re ‘unified’ after public disagreement on fighter jets for Ukraine

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Vice President Kamala Harris and Polish President Andrzej Duda insisted Thursday that america and Poland are “unified” after the U.S. rejected the nation’s proposal to ship MiG-29 planes to the Ukrainian army.

Throughout a joint press convention in Warsaw, Poland, simply hours after the Pentagon made clear that the U.S. doesn’t assist Poland’s proposal for the U.S. and NATO to ship MiG-29s to the Ukrainian army, Harris and Duda maintained that the connection between america and Poland has “become even stronger” amid Russia’s struggle towards Ukraine. 

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Harris stated her go to to Poland is “an expression of the enduring and important relationship between the United States and Poland that again has been long-standing, but in particular on the issue of Ukraine is unified and is clear.” 

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a joint press conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda on the occasion of their meeting at Belwelder Palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks throughout a joint press convention with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on the event of their assembly at Belwelder Palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 
(Saul Loeb/Pool Picture by way of AP)

“We will do everything together in partnership, in solidarity, to support what is necessary at this very moment in terms of the humanity and security needs of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Harris stated. 

“I want to be very clear: The United States and Poland are united in what we have done and are prepared to do to help Ukraine and the people of Ukraine — full stop,” Harris stated.

Harris highlighted the U.S. Home of Representatives’ vote to ship $13 billion in help to Ukraine and European allies. And she or he introduced the U.S. would offer $53 million extra to the UN World Meals Program.

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a joint press conference with Vice President Kamala Harris, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks throughout a joint press convention with Vice President Kamala Harris, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 
(Saul Loeb/Pool Picture by way of AP)

Poland shocked the U.S. on Tuesday by providing to provide its complete fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets to the U.S. in trade for an opportunity to purchase American F-16s as a part of a deal to bolster the Ukrainian air power whereas upgrading the Poles’ with NATO plane.

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“The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the President and the Government, are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America,” the Polish Overseas Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. “At the same time, Poland requests the United States to provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes.”

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The Pentagon, the next day, pushed again on the transfer and stated it raised issues relating to the deployment of warplanes from a U.S. base in a NATO-allied nation to fight Russian forces.

Harris is greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda during their meeting in Warsaw, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 

Harris is greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda throughout their assembly in Warsaw, Thursday, March 10, 2022. 
(AP Picture/Czarek Sokolowski)

Duda, responding to questions on whether or not his authorities “unilaterally” made the provide to Ukraine, defined Poland was appearing in the very best curiosity of NATO. 

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“There is a fight going on for independence for sovereignty, for freedom and for survival and support with all the strength we have for the people of Ukraine,” Duda stated. “It is not only in the military, also the people of Ukraine have taken the arms to defend their homeland. It’s not only men, it’s also women fighting on the front line with men in order to defend their country.” 

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Duda stated that Poland and its allies “accept” that Ukraine has “the right to demand this assistance from the international community.” 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday pleaded with the U.S. and Poland to discover a strategy to ship his nation MiG-29 warplanes as Russian forces proceed to pummel Ukraine.

With regard to these calls for, Duda stated he’s making choices “not only through our own lens of Poland,” but additionally is trying to “adopt in the perspective of the security of NATO as a whole.” 

“In a nutshell, we have to be a member of the alliance,” he stated, including that in receiving requests from Ukraine, and “the media,” Poland “behaved in such a way as a reliable member of NATO should serve NATO, who does not want to expose NATO to any difficult situation.” 

Duda harassed that as a member of NATO, Poland “wanted to look for ways of support for the fighting of its allies.” 

“And that is why we formulated that statement together with the Polish government and myself as president, together, with the Polish government,” he stated, including that the assertion mentioned “the Polish civilities military support of assisting Ukraine.” 

“Simply, we decided to put those jets at the disposal of NATO’s not expecting anything in return because we stressed very clearly that as a gap-filler for the donated equipment we are able to buy what we would need as a replacement,” Duda stated. “And we, ourselves, were ready to do that and provide our equipment free of charge and that we wanted NATO, as a whole, to make a common decision so that Poland remains a member of NATO, not a country who decides on its own on important issues, which impact the security of NATO’s help, which would impact this initiative of all members of NATO. Also, our neighbors who are part of NATO, members of NATO.” 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated the Division of Protection believes the “best way to support Ukrainian defense is by providing them the weapons and the systems that they need most to defeat Russian aggression, in particular anti-armor and air defense.”

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Kirby stated earlier weapons despatched to Ukraine from America and different nations are being “used with great effect.”

He stated a protection evaluation confirmed that “adding aircraft to the Ukrainian inventory is not likely to significantly change the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air force relative to Russian capabilities.”

“Therefore, we believe that the gain from transferring those MiG 29s is low,” Kirby stated.

“The intelligence community has assessed that the transfer of MiG-29s may be mistaken as escalatory and could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO,” Kirby stated. “Therefore, we also assess the MiG-29s to Ukraine to be high-risk.”

Ukraine has been pleading with Western allies to ship army help and implement a no-fly zone over the nation. The U.S. and its NATO allies have repeatedly stated a no-fly zone over Ukraine may convey a couple of direct battle with Russia.

In the meantime, throughout her time in Poland, officers stated the vp will interact with Ukrainian refugees. Greater than 1 million refugees have fled from Ukraine to Poland since Russia invaded on Feb. 24. She can also be anticipated to fulfill with Embassy Warsaw workers, in addition to Embassy Kyiv workers who’ve relocated to Poland amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Harris, on Friday, is about to fulfill with U.S. and Polish service members in Warsaw to thank them for his or her service, earlier than touring to Bucharest, Romania, for a bilateral assembly with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and members of Embassy Bucharest workers.

Every day Submit’ Kyle Morris, Jennifer Griffin, Caitlin McFall and The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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