By Chandelis Duster, CNN
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Sunday called for the transfer of fighter jets to Poland after a plea from Ukrainian President Zelensky for Western countries to send fighter aircraft into his country.
“I strongly urged the Secretary of State yesterday to complete this transaction. You know, the Ukrainians can fly Russian MiGs. But then Poland wants a back order, and that may be possibly F-16s,” McCaul, who is in Poland, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We’re not going to put our troops in there, but you know what we can help the Ukrainian people win this war … I think the will of the Ukrainian people will basically beat the will of the Russian troops. The Russian troops are not into this. But the Ukrainians are. And if we can arm them to defend themselves, that’s how we beat the Russians.”
A White House spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Saturday that the US is working with Poland on the possibility of Poland providing fighter jets to Ukraine along with consulting with other allies.
More on this: Following a Zoom call with Ukrainian leader President Volodymyr Zelensky, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer called on the Biden administration to facilitate the transfer of “desperately-needed” aircraft to Ukraine.
At a Sunday press briefing, Schumer stressed that Zelensky is in short supply of aircraft and that several Eastern European countries have Soviet-made jets which the Ukrainian Air Force pilots know how to operate.
“Today I’m announcing the push for the U.S. administration to explore all feasible options to transfer these desperately needed aircraft to Ukraine,” Schumer said. “We are asking our administration to do everything they can to facilitate the transfer of planes from Eastern Europe to Ukraine.”