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 yr and not makes use of the jets.Kyiv has repeatedly requested its Western allies to ship it trendy 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 stated Thursday, following the Polish announcement. “It doesn’t change our evaluation. (…) It isn’t on the desk,” he instructed 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 stated: “MiGs is not going to clear up the issues, we’d like F-16s. However the MiGs will assist to strengthen our capabilities.Hoping for a “broader coalition”A Kremlin spokesperson stated Friday that the Mig-29 fighter planes that Poland and Slovakia will quickly ship to Ukraine shall be “destroyed,” and denounced the “growing involvement” of NATO nations within the battle. “The supply of this army gear, as we’ve repeatedly stated, can not have an effect on the end result” of the battle, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters. “In fact, this gear shall be destroyed,” he added.Throughout his press convention, the Polish president added that “different plane are presently present process upkeep and can most likely be transferred at a later stage”. “We are able to due to this fact say that we’re about to ship these MiGs to Ukraine,” he stated, 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 stated.He added that the MiG-29s are “plane that Ukrainian pilots can use immediately with out extra coaching”.On Thursday morning, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak stated 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 stated it was Slovakia however “after all we’re open to different contributors. We undoubtedly need our actions to be carried out within the framework of a coalition”.The MiGs transferred to Ukraine shall be changed by South Korean FA-50s and US F-35s.Final yr, Poland’s neighbour Slovakia stated it was prepared to debate sending MiG-29s to assist substitute losses to Ukraine’s present stockpile, however didn’t decide.