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On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Warsaw and Polish President Andrzej Duda, where he asked Poland to build a coalition that will provide fighter jets to Ukraine. It was Zelensky's first visit to Poland since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.
"Just as your (Polish) leadership proved itself in the tank coalition, I believe that it will manifest itself in the planes coalition," Zelensky said while suggesting that Poland and Ukraine, together, could defend all of Europe and added, "Poland, with you, shoulder to shoulder, we will establish freedom in Europe forever. Tyranny will lose in history when it loses in Ukraine."
Zelensky acknowledged the West's waning enthusiasm for the war, saying, "Because this is a battle for freedom and it is impossible to win partially."
Ukraine is pressuring Poland to spearhead an effort to get its Western allies to send fighter jets to Kyiv, as Warsaw was effective in lobbying Washington and other allies to send tanks to Zelensky. While Washington has consistently hesitated to send the much sought-after F-16, it has supported Poland's decision to provide some of its Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to the war-torn country.
The Biden administration has refused to send fighter jets, citing concerns that to do so would provoke an unnecessary escalation from Russia.
Meanwhile, Duda confirmed his readiness to donate additional Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets and reiterated a need for Ukraine to join NATO saying that 'security guarantees' are needed.
Duda offered reassurances to Zelensky saying, "I believe that we will succeed in obtaining guarantees [for Ukraine] as a prelude to Ukraine's future membership in full in the North Atlantic Alliance," Duda said. Prior to their talks, Duda awarded Zelensky with the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest honor.