Slovakia to Send Jets to Ukraine

A Slovakian MiG-29 in flight.

The interim Prime Minister of Slovakia has announced his government unanimously approved the transfer of Soviet-made MiG-29s to Ukraine. After transferring the jets, Slovakia will receive $212 million from the EU as part of its European Peace Facility funding mechanism. Slovakia’s Defense Minister says his country will send 10 MiG-29s with engines and 3 without engines. He added that Ukraine’s fighter pilots are already trained in operating Soviet fighters, and Ukraine has the facilities necessary for their maintenance. The Russian embassy in Slovakia blasted the move by calling it “illegal,” due to past agreements made between Slovakia and Russia. The agreements required Moscow’s permission for a transfer of MiG-29s. The Russian embassy also added that the transfer could “lead to an unpredictable and dangerous escalation of the conflict, and those who initiated this decision will bear full responsibility for it.”

This news comes a day after the Polish Prime Minister promised around a dozen MiG-29s for Ukraine. With four “fully operational” jets arriving “in the coming days.” In response to the announcement a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said the MiG-29s are “unlikely to dramatically change the situation on the contact line.” The spokesman reiterated Ukraine’s desire to acquire American F-16s.