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War hawk Romney wants MiG-29 fighter jets sent to Ukraine 

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney had a terse message for the Biden administration Thursday over shutting down a Polish proposal to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets: “Get them the aircraft.”

Read US calls Poland’s MiG-29 offer untenable

The Pentagon rejected the idea Wednesday, saying allied efforts against the Russian invasion should be focused on more useful weaponry and the MiG transfer with a U.S. and NATO connection would run a “high risk” of escalating the war, the Associated Press reported.

“I simply do not understand the logic for not getting the MiGs to the Ukrainians immediately. There is no logic which has been provided to this committee or to the nation for the lack of rapidity in making this decision. It makes no sense,” Romney, R-Utah, said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pleaded repeatedly for the U.S. to provide his military with more aircraft — presented as an apparent alternative to establishing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine to suppress Russian airpower, the AP reported. The “no-fly” idea was turned down earlier by Washington and NATO as an unnecessary risk of escalation.

“I believe there’s a sentiment that we’re fearful about what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin might do. And what he might consider as an escalation. It’s time for him to be fearful of what we might do,” Romney said.

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Later Thursday, Romney joined a group of Republican senators at a news conference pressing President Joe Biden to reverse course and get the Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. would give Poland the “green light” to send the planes to Ukraine, but that changed when the transfer was to go through the United States.

“What’s the difference between Poland giving them the jets and us giving them the jets?” he said. “I think the Russians threatened the Poles and the Poles were looking for America to have their back, and we folded like a cheap suit.”

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The GOP senators said the U.S. and NATO have already imposed economic sanctions on Russia and supplied Ukraine with weapons and supplies, and a squadron of fighter jets would do nothing to further provoke Putin.


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