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Saturday 10 June 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Shutterstock File photo of Slovak MIG-29 jets.
# mig-29
Slovakia joins Poland in donating jets to Ukraine
Providing Ukraine with fighter jets has been seen as a controversial move even among the country’s allies.

SLOVAKIA WILL DONATE 13 warplanes to Ukraine, the Slovak prime minister has said, making it the second Nato member to announce such a shipment following a similar move by Poland.

“We will hand over 13 of our MiG-29 jets to Ukraine,” Slovak premier Eduard Heger told journalists, adding that Bratislava would also deliver an air defence system to Ukraine.

The Soviet-era jets were primarily designed for air-to-air fighters, although can also perform air-to-ground operations. Ukraine already has a number of these jets in service.

Ukraine has long requested fighter jets from Western allies, although seeking primarily modern US-made F-16s.

“Our steps are fully coordinated with Poland and Ukraine,” Heger said, adding that his government “stands on the right side of history”.

The Kremlin in response said the fighter jets given to Ukraine by Poland and Slovakia would be destroyed, and repeated that Western arms deliveries to Kyiv would not change Russia’s military aims.

Polish President Andrzej Duda yesterday announced that Warsaw would send four Soviet-made MiG-29 jets to Ukraine “in the coming days”.

Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said the transfer of MiGs from Slovakia to Kyiv will take “a couple of weeks”. The country intends to replace its fleet with American-made jets.

– © AFP 2023

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