Slovakia to deliver 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Slovakia to deliver 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine | War in Ukraine

A MiG-29 fighter flies over Malacky Air Base, Slovakia.

Slovakia will deliver thirteen Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighters to the Ukraine, its Prime Minister announced on Friday, and will thus become the second NATO country after Poland to take such a decision. Moscow assures that these devices will be “destroyed”.

We will hand over 13 of our MiG-29s to Ukraine, and this move was fully coordinated with Poland and Ukraine, Eduard Heger told reporters.

Poland said on Thursday that it would send a first batch of four MiG-29s in the coming days.

< p>“We donate these MiGs to Ukraine so they can protect civilians from the many bombs that fall on their homes and are the reason people are dying in Ukraine. »

— Eduard Heger, Prime Minister of Slovakia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Mr. Heger for a powerful package of air weapons and air defense, including aircraft MiG.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Kiev has repeatedly asked its Western allies to send it modern fighter-bombers, hoping to get American F-16s.

The Kremlin immediately denounced the growing involvement of NATO countries in the conflict with kyiv.

The delivery of this military equipment, as we have repeatedly said, will not influence the outcome of the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Of course, this equipment will be destroyed, he added.

Poland and Slovakia's decision was welcomed on Friday by Estonia, which considered that more must always be done to help Ukraine win and defeat the aggressor.

At least three Slovak aircraft destined for Ukraine will be used to supply spare parts. Transporting the MiGs to Ukraine will take a few weeks, Slovak officials said Friday.

The head of government added that his country will also deliver the system to Kiev. Koub air defense.

Poland will send to Ukraine four MiG-29 fighters, aircraft on which Ukrainian pilots are trained. (File photo)

Last year, Slovakia decided to stop using its MiG-29s. They will be replaced by January 2024 by American F-16s. For now, Slovak airspace is protected by the Czech Republic and Poland.

The delivery of fighters, spare parts and anti-aircraft missiles will take place on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement, and Slovakia will be compensated by its allies.

We will receive compensation through the European Peace Facility, Heger explained, as the defense minister referred to an offer from Washington of unspecified US military equipment worth $700 million.

On Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that in the coming days Poland will transfer four fully operational aircraft to Ukraine.

Reacting to the Warsaw announcement, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat believed that MiGs will not solve the problems, we need F-16. But the MiGs will help strengthen our capabilities.

The Polish decision does not, however, change the American refusal to do the same, underlined shortly after John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House.

On Friday, Spain also reconfirmed that it would not deliver fighter jets to Ukraine.

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