Poland’s decision to become the first NATO country to provide fighter jets to Ukraine is significant – not militarily, but politically. Handing over four MiGs will not change the tide. But this is an example of how the assessment of the situation and the balance of power have changed in the last twelve months.
Fears of the powerful Russian military machine were allayed. And the eastern members of the European Union and NATO are gaining more influence and a say. Poland first. The national-conservative government in Vasa is trying to challenge Germany’s place as America’s most important ally in Europe.
Poland wants to deliver MiGs to Ukraine in March 2022 – led by a coalition of eastern NATO partners that wants to hand over 70 fighter jets to thwart Russian advances in Kiev. However, Warsaw sought support from the United States due to concerns that Russia would declare Poland a belligerent party. Similar to Chancellor Olaf Scholes recently in the Panzer decision. But President Joe Biden has not authorized fighter jets for Poland in 2022 — to the relief of the federal government.
If Poland is now ready to self-deliver MiGs, it means that fear of Putin’s armed forces is not as great now as it was at the beginning of the war after their defeats. At the Munich Security Conference, Poland campaigned for several NATO countries to supply fighter jets to Ukraine and train their pilots on Western models – but made such an alliance a condition of selling Polish jets.
This ban has now been lifted. It shows a new self-confidence in Poland. And they claim to play a major role in the alliance. Not on the side of Germany, but in solidarity with America. This suggests that they did not veto Mick’s delivery this time.
Poland’s ambition to make Germany the country on which the United States bases its European policy will not be fulfilled. Warsaw’s weight was insufficient for this, either economically or politically.
But Germany needs to absorb the fact that power-sharing in the EU and NATO has shifted eastwards as a result of the opening. It’s not just a nice gesture. It has consequences.
When it comes to military support for Ukraine, the eastern neighbors want to do more than Berlin. They’re probably joining the US – as long as their president is called Joe Biden.
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