The Polish ambassador to the United States voiced a sense of urgency Thursday after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brought his plea for fighter jets before a European Union summit.
Poland has offered to send military planes to Ukraine, provided other NATO allies do as well.
“This is an offer that has been on the table for a few days and it’s actually a very interesting topic to discuss among EU and NATO political leaders," the ambassador, Marek Magierowski, told CNN of the Polish pledge on fighter jets.
“The one thing I’m sure of is — we’re now facing a race against time with the Russians mobilizing their forces and regrouping along the front lines in Ukraine, and the Ukranians awaiting more advanced weaponry from the West. And I believe it’s been mostly the Polish government which has been quite insistent on the necessity of continuing our support, in both military and political terms, for Ukraine,” Magierowski said.
“Doubtless it will take a while to train the crews and the pilots,” the Polish ambassador said, noting that Ukrainian airmen were trained on Soviet-era systems.
Magierowski said it would be a "turning point" for the confrontation "if all EU and NATO countries chose to deliver the F-16 (fighter jets) or other Western-designed weapons to Ukraine right now.”
“My impression is that we have been using the wrong terms until recently. We should change a little bit our vocabulary and stop saying about the possibility of 'not losing' the war, but about Ukraine eventually winning this war,” the ambassador said.
“We tended to overestimate the Russia’s military might before the invasion. Now, we underestimate. I think, unfortunately, the Russian military, and Russian society and Russian ruling elite are remarkably resilient in light of economic sanctions we have imposed on this country, and in the face of this miserable performance of the Russian forces in Ukraine,” the ambassador said.
“I do not believe in a diplomatic solution to this conflict. The solution should be military and, again, I think that militarily Ukraine will eventually prevail — also with our help,” the diplomat concluded.
The ambassador's remarks came shortly after Zelensky addressed the EU summit in Brussels Thursday, taking his pitch for more military support directly to the assembly of world leaders.