Bratislava will deliver 13 Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, Slovakia's prime minister said on Friday. The country thus becomes the second NATO country after Poland to take such a decision. For its part, Moscow indicates that these devices will be "destroyed".
"We will hand over 13 of our MiG-29s to Ukraine," Eduard Heger told reporters, adding that the move was "fully coordinated with Poland and Ukraine." "At least three aircraft will be used to supply spare parts," Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces, General Daniel Zmeko, told reporters.
The head of government added that his country would also deliver the Koub air defense system to kyiv. Transporting the aircraft "will take a few weeks," Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said.
The Kremlin immediately denounced an "increasing involvement" of NATO countries in the conflict with kyiv. "The delivery of this military equipment, as we have repeatedly said, cannot affect the outcome" of the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "Of course, this equipment will be destroyed," he added.
On Thursday, Warsaw announced the delivery "in the coming days" of a first batch of four MiG-29 fighter-bombers to Ukraine. "In the coming days, we will first transfer [...] four fully operational aircraft to Ukraine," Polish President Andrzej Duda told reporters.
kyiv has repeatedly asked its Western allies to send it modern fighter-bombers, hoping to get American F-16s. The Polish decision "does not change anything", however, to the American refusal to do the same, assured John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House shortly after.
"It doesn't change our analysis. […] It's not on the table,” he told reporters, recalling that President Joe Biden had publicly opposed the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. Reacting to Warsaw's announcement, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said, "MiGs won't solve problems, we need F-16s. But the MiGs will help strengthen our capabilities. »