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Minister: Slovakia to receive modern weapons from US as 'compensation' for supplying Ukraine
The U.S. offered Slovakia a defense aid package as "compensation" for the 13 MiG-29 fighter jets it had pledged to Ukraine, Slovakia's Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad reported on March 22.
According to Nad, the U.S. offer includes 12 new Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, as well as the necessary equipment, training for pilots and technicians, and over 500 AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.
The total cost of these weapons amounts to $1 billion. Slovakia will be responsible for paying $340 million of this amount over the next 3-4 years while the U.S. would cover the rest with its defense budget.
Slovakia is expected to receive 200 euros from the European Peace Fund as compensation and an additional 50 million euros for transferring the 2K12 Kub air defense system to Ukraine. When combined with the U.S. footing around $660 million of the bill for its new weapons, this amounts to over 900 euros in total compensation for Slovakia, Nad said.
On March 17, Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger confirmed that his government had approved providing Ukraine with 13 MiG-29 fighter jets. This decision made Slovakia the second NATO member state after Poland to pledge the aircraft to Ukraine.
"Promises must be kept, and when (Ukraine's President Volodymyr) Zelensky asked for more weapons, including fighter jets, I said we'll do our best. Glad others (are) doing the same," Heger wrote on Twitter. "Military aid is key to ensure Ukraine can defend itself and entire Europe against Russia."