Moscow warns against getting involved in the conflict, while allies ponder loaning MIGs to UkraineReading Time: < 1 minute
Russia has issued a veiled threat to Poland and Romania not to get involved in its operation against Ukraine, writes Romania Insider, quoting a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov who told Reuters that any country allowing Ukraine to access airports or airfields would be considered participants in the war. In a statement to Interfax, he alleged that despite most of Ukraine’s jets having been disabled, “we know from a reliable source that Ukrainian planes flew to Romania and other neighbouring states”.
With military aid expected to be entering Ukraine via its neighbours, Romania Journal notes, “Romania recently returned the Suhoi Su-27 fighter jet to Ukraine a few days ago after landing at Bacau airport.” Romania’s Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca told media the plane was unarmed.
Poland may offer Ukraine use of Warsaw’s own MIG-29 fighters, and Euractiv writes that Washington is considering sending “replacement” planes to Poland if that happens. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the possibility on Sunday in his visit to Moldova. Ukrainian pilots would be able to fly Russian-made MIGs from Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
To show America’s support for the eastern flank of the NATO alliance, Romania Insider writes that US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Warsaw and, and Bucharest later this week.
In part to discuss how the US can help Ukraine’s neighbours with the refugee crisis, Harris will meet with the leaders of Poland and Romania, according to Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, to “discuss our continuing support for the people of Ukraine through security, economic, and humanitarian assistance and our determination to impose severe economic consequences on Russia and those complicit in Russia’s invasion”.