Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04), along with Representatives Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Mike Turner (OH-10) and 44 other members, sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden calling on the administration to continue working with NATO allies to provide aircraft to the Ukrainian military.

“On Saturday, March 5th, President Zelenskyy spoke to Members of Congress, describing the grim and distressing situation facing the people of Ukraine following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory,” the letter reads. “The Ukrainian Air Force requires additional aircraft to secure its skies and protect Ukrainian civilians, who continue to be disproportionately targeted by Russian forces. We have watched the Kremlin purposefully strike hospitals, schools, and residential areas. This is unacceptable.”

Some NATO countries, including Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, are in possession of Soviet-era aircraft that are usable by the Ukrainian military. To encourage these countries to donate aircraft to Ukraine, the U.S. should provide assurances that it will provide donor countries planes to ensure their own defenses are not degraded. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already stated that the U.S. supports NATO allies transferring fighter planes to Ukraine, but without a commitment to backfill these countries’ aircraft supplies, they will be less willing to assist.

“By working to transfer aircraft to Ukraine swiftly, the United States and our NATO Allies can continue to demonstrate our staunch support for Ukraine’s democracy and sovereignty,” the letter continues.  “We stand ready to assist you in any way necessary to ensure our NATO Allies are able to facilitate a transfer of aircraft to Ukraine rapidly and efficiently.”

For more information, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov. The full text of the letter is attached.