Poland and Slovakia become first NATO countries sending MiG-29 jets to Ukraine

Poland and Slovakia are the primary NATO nations to say they will ship fighter jets to Ukraine. 

Poland will ship a primary batch of 4 MiG-29 fighter-bombers, Polish President Andrzej Duda introduced Thursday. 

In the meantime Slovakia’s authorities has permitted a plan to present Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29s.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger introduced the unanimous resolution of his authorities on Friday. Slovakia grounded its fleet final 12 months and now not makes use of the jets.

Kyiv has repeatedly requested its Western allies to ship it fashionable fighter-bombers, hoping to get American F-16s.

The Polish resolution “doesn’t change” the US refusal to do the identical, White Home spokesman John Kirby mentioned Thursday, following the Polish announcement. 

“It doesn’t change our evaluation. (…) It is not on the desk,” he advised reporters, recalling that President Joe Biden had publicly opposed the supply of fight plane to Ukraine.

Reacting to Warsaw’s announcement, Ukrainian Air Power spokesman Yuriy Ignat mentioned: “MiGs won’t remedy the issues, we’d like F-16s. However the MiGs will assist to strengthen our capabilities.

Hoping for a “broader coalition”

A Kremlin spokesperson mentioned Friday that the Mig-29 fighter planes that Poland and Slovakia will quickly ship to Ukraine will likely be “destroyed,” and denounced the “rising involvement” of NATO nations within the battle. 

“The supply of this navy tools, as we now have repeatedly mentioned, can’t have an effect on the result” of the battle, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised reporters. “After all, this tools will likely be destroyed,” he added.

Throughout his press convention, the Polish president added that “different plane are at present present process upkeep and can in all probability be transferred at a later stage”. 

“We are able to subsequently say that we’re about to ship these MiGs to Ukraine,” he mentioned, including that Poland has some 15 MiGs, inherited within the Nineteen Nineties from the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic, GDR.

“These MiGs are nonetheless in service within the Polish air pressure. These are the final years of operation of those plane that are nonetheless, for essentially the most half, operational,” President Duda mentioned.

He added that the MiG-29s are “plane that Ukrainian pilots can use at present with out further coaching”.

On Thursday morning, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak mentioned Poland needed to switch MiG-29s to Ukraine “as a part of a broader coalition of states”.

Requested who else was within the coalition, he mentioned it was Slovakia however “after all we’re open to different members. We undoubtedly need our actions to be carried out within the framework of a coalition”.

The MiGs transferred to Ukraine will likely be changed by South Korean FA-50s and US F-35s.

Final 12 months, Poland’s neighbour Slovakia mentioned it was prepared to debate sending MiG-29s to assist change losses to Ukraine’s present stockpile, however didn’t decide.