NEW: Biden Says ‘No’ to Ukraine for the First Time

Joe Biden

( – President Joe Biden’s administration has refused to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets to help it fend off the Russian invasion as US ally Poland is moving to supply the Ukrainian defenders with warplanes.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Polish decision to give Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine would not affect America’s position.

“It doesn’t change our calculus with respect to F-16s,” Kirby told reporters in Washington Thursday, as cited by Newsmax.

“It’s not on the table right now. And an announcement by another nation to provide fighter aircraft does not affect, and does not change, our own sovereign decision-making,” he added.

US senators from both parties have insisted that the US Defense Department provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets to help it get an edge as it is defending against Russian aggression.

“After speaking with US, Ukrainian, and foreign leaders working to support Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference last month, we believe the US needs to take a hard look at providing F-16 aircraft to Ukraine,” a bipartisan group of eight senators wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“This would be a significant capability that could prove to be a game changer on the battlefield,” the lawmakers argued.

At the same time, President Joe Biden and his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan have said F-16s are not an immediate battlefield need for Ukraine.

“It is a priority for the Ukrainians, but it’s not one of their top three priorities,” Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl told the House Armed Services Committee.

“Their top priorities are air defense systems … artillery and fires, which we’ve talked about, and armor and mechanized systems,” he added.

On Thursday, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda announced that the first four MiG-29 fighter jets out of its fleet of more than two dozen such aircraft would be transferred to Ukraine’s military in the coming days.

“Additional planes are currently in preparation, under maintenance, and will probably be transferred successively. These MiGs are still in service in Poland’s air force. They’re in their last years of operation but are still, for the most part, in full working order,” Duda declared.

“The rest are in repair and service and will also be successfully transferred later. Their place will be taken by FA-50s from South Korea and American F-35s,” the Polish president revealed.

Poland, a US ally in the NATO alliance, has 28 MiG-29 fighters, of which 23 are considered operational.

Meanwhile, the government of Slovakia, another US NATO ally in Central Europe, also decided to give its entire fleet of 13 MiG-29 jets to Ukraine.

“The Slovak government just approved sending 13 MiG-29s to Ukraine! Promises must be kept, and when [Ukrainian President] Zelenskyy asked for more weapons, including fighter jets, I said we’d do our best. Glad others are doing the same. Military aid is key to ensure Ukraine can defend itself and entire Europe against Russia,” Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger wrote on Twitter.

“Our government is on the right side of history,” he added.

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