Slovakia follows Poland’s lead by pledging entire fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine

Slovak Air Force MiG-29s fly over an airport during an airshow in Malacky, Slovakia, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

The Slovakian government has pledged the country’s entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine to become the second NATO member to heed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for warplanes after Poland.

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger told a news conference on Friday that his government was “on the right side of history,” and tweeted: “Promises must be kept and when([President) Zelensky asked for more weapons including fighter jets, I said we’ll do our best. I’m glad others are doing the same.”

The move comes a day after Polish Defense Mariusz Błaszczak told national radio he had discussed with his Slovak counterpart, Jaroslav Naď, a joint effort to bolster Ukrainian defenses and hinted at the pursuance of a wider coalition to provide Ukrainian forces with additional firepower.

Ukraine had originally asked for NATO-standard, modern aircraft such as Eurofighter Typhoons and U.S.-made F-16s, and it remains to be seen whether the MiGs it is getting, which are now about 30 years old, will be sufficient in repelling Russian forces.

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It is understood that NATO allies, including the United Kingdom, have agreed to provide air cover for countries who wish to donate their own aircraft to Ukraine, but they have stopped short of offering their own fleet.

In response to the news, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, criticized the decision, insisting it would not deter Russia from continuing its “special military operation” and would only “bring additional woes for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

“Of course, during the special military operation, all this equipment will be subject to destruction,” he added.

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