03.17.22

Lankford, Graham, Colleagues Urge MiG-29 Transfer To Ukraine

WASHINGTON, DC –Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced a Senate resolution urging the Biden Administration to facilitate the transfer of aircraft, such as MiG-29s, and air defense systems to Ukraine. 

Lankford pushed for more aid for Ukraine in his reaction to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to Congress yesterday.  

“The US has provided javelins, stingers, intelligence information, food, water, and medical supplies to Ukraine already,” said Lankford. “If it’s within our power to do good, we should do good. The US has access to the MiG-29s jet fighter aircraft and we should not withhold them from Ukraine. We have an opportunity to assist Ukraine protect their nation and their people from Putin’s aggression. We can and we should step up.”

“I'm urging the Senate to speak with one voice, to meet the moment,” said Graham. “We've been talking. We have written letters. Now it’s time to take votes. If we had a vote on the resolution to supply the Ukrainian military with the MiG fighters and other air defense systems, it would be a shot in the arm to Ukrainian people and their military. It would be a blow to Putin. If we do this soon, I think it really could help the outcome of this conflict.”

The resolution:

  • Encourages the President of the United States to support the transfer of aircraft, such as MiG-29s, and air defense systems to Ukraine.
  • Supports continued efforts by members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other countries around the globe to identify additional aviation and air defense capabilities to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • Expresses that the Senate stands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people in their struggle against Russian aggression.

“Putin and his army continue to target innocent Ukrainian civilians, their public infrastructure, farms, hospitals, and even homes. The Ukrainian people, under President Zelenskyy, have fought back valiantly, but they need more support from the United States and our NATO allies. President Biden must act immediately to transfer MiGs and air defense systems to our allies and allow the Ukrainians to protect their people and their country. Every second counts,” said Ernst.  

“The Administration should immediately expedite the transfer of MiG-29 aircraft and air systems, as well as additional support capabilities, to Ukraine,” said Crapo. “We have to do more to defend the sovereignty of a free and democratic nation.”

“I fully support the immediate transfer of MiG-29s and other air defense systems to Ukraine. President Zelensky has asked for these aircraft multiple times,” said Cramer. “We should have green-lighted them from the beginning. It is our responsibility as leaders of the free world to give the independent people of Ukraine all the tools they need to protect themselves against Putin’s thuggery and aggression.”

“President Biden’s continued blockage of planes going to Ukraine is heartless and unreasonable,” said Rick Scott. “Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s unjust invasion is a fight for democracy and our security and I have been clear that the United States must lead the world in both supporting Ukraine and destroying Russia for its horrific attacks and war. Children are dying and the Ukrainian military needs planes to bring their fight to the skies and protect its people. The United States has the power to give Ukraine what it needs to win. We must use it.”

“Vladimir Putin is at war with the entire free world, and President Biden has not yet done nearly enough to stop his invasion of Ukraine,” Wicker said. “Our Ukrainian friends have asked for increased airpower and more air defense systems, and our Polish allies have expressed a willingness to help. We need to say less and do more, starting with transferring these vital defensive assets to Ukraine without delay.”

“We must do everything in our power to help the people of Ukraine defend themselves against the monstrous actions of Vladimir Putin,” Romney said. “That means getting them the capabilities they need—MiG-29 jets, air defense systems, anti-tank missiles, ammunition—to fight and keep their land and skies safe. America has a responsibility to defend freedom around the world, and we must not wait any longer—get Ukraine what they need now.” 

The resolution text can be found here.

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