Following the Defense Department’s decision to reject Poland’s plans to provide MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) led 40 of their colleagues in calling on President Biden to work with Poland and our NATO allies to expedite the transfer of aircraft and air defense systems, as well as additional support capabilities, to Ukraine. The letter is available here.
This afternoon, Senators Romney and Ernst held a press conference to reiterate their request for President Biden to expedite the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine. Senator Romney’s remarks can be found below the video.
“I want to underscore the feelings in my heart and the feelings of every person I know in this great country of affection and concern and hope for the people of Ukraine, and admiration of President Zelenskyy in his effort to lead the world. He has asked us for aircraft—specifically MiGs. We need to get him those MiGs. It is a bipartisan message—not just us. We had a hearing this morning with the Foreign Relations Committee. Chairman Menendez said the same thing, Senator Shaheen said the same thing. Democrats are saying the same thing: Send these MiGs. And the question is, why aren’t they being sent? Because we’ve heard now for days that this is something that’s being discussed. Enough talk. People are dying. Send them the planes that they need. They say they need MiGs. People say, well maybe that’s not the ideal weapon for them. That is what they say they want. They are there. They have the eyes to determine what they want. They want MiGs. Get them the MiGs.
“As [Senator Ernst] just indicated, some say this might be provocative. My goodness! Russia has invaded a land in an unprovoked place. This is extraordinary that we’re worried about that. By the way, we’re not going to stop the killing in Ukraine until we and NATO fear Putin less than he fears us. It’s time for him to fear what we might do, because frankly his military is bogged down in Ukraine and if NATO were to get activated in some way, by his provocation, why obviously he would be in a very, very weak position. So please, let us get them the MiGs that they need. Let’s do it as fast as possible, and if the Administration has a reason that they’re not doing it, please tell us what it is!We’ve had hearing after hearing, both at a classified and non-classified setting, asking why they haven’t gotten the MiGs out, and they say, well this is something we’re talking about, we’re working with people on this. Enough talk. Tell us what the problem is, and let’s get the job done so that we can save lives in Ukraine and defend the cause of freedom.”