Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday told reporters, Warsaw does not have enough F-16 jets or Patriot air defense systems to send any to Ukraine, but other countries should do so right away, reports the Russia Today.
“We have too few F-16 aircraft, so at the moment, today, there are no such expectations from us,” Morawiecki said at a press conference at Castle Mimi in Moldova, on the first day of the European Political Community summit, according to Polskie Radio.
“We handed over our MiGs – good planes, good fighters, and this is greatly appreciated,” the Polish PM added. Poland followed Slovakia in sending Ukraine some of its 19 Soviet-era MiG-29 jets to make up Kyiv’s losses over the past year.
Morawiecki also noted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky thanked him for organising the F-16 “coalition,” referring to the push by several NATO members to supply Kyiv with the US-designed fighters. While many countries, including Poland, have offered to train Ukrainian pilots, it remains unclear where the planes would actually come from.
The Polish PM also had bad news for Kyiv regarding the replacements for Patriot air defense systems damaged or destroyed by Russian missile strikes.
“Just as we don’t have enough F-16 fighters, we can't hand over our Patriot systems to Ukraine for the same reason,” Morawiecki said, adding that it was important for other countries that had Patriots “to share them with Ukraine as soon as possible.”
Patriots and F-16s are the latest “game-changer” weapons Kyiv has demanded from the West to bolster its forces’ combat capabilities against Russia, especially in the light of its planned counteroffensive.
Poland, meanwhile, has become a hub for arms supplies to Ukraine from other countries and a training ground for Ukrainian soldiers.
The US and the EU have also provided direct financial aid to Kyiv to keep its government functioning. Russia has warned that military aid to Kyiv makes Western countries de facto direct participants in the conflict, and said that foreign weapons systems would be treated as legitimate targets on the battlefield.