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Poland to send 4 MiG-29 jets to Ukraine in coming days

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 16, 2023 3:18 PM 2 min read
President of Poland Andrzej Duda greets people before the remarks of the President of the United States Joe Biden in Warsaw, Poland on Feb. 21, 2023. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Poland will hand over the first four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine within the coming days, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on March 16, cited by Rzeczpospolita newspaper.

"The remaining aircraft are being serviced and prepared," Duda added, without mentioning the total number of MiG-29s Poland plans to send to Ukraine.

Paweł Szrot, the head of the Polish President's Office, said on March 9 that Poland would transfer only a limited number of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Duda told a news conference that Warsaw was "literally shipping these MiGs to Ukraine at this point," adding that his country still has up to 20 of these Soviet-era jets.

According to Duda, Poland's MiG-29 jets, taken over from the GDR army in the early 90s, are in "the last years of their operation in accordance with their technical capabilities."

Poland will replace those fighter jets it's delivering to Ukraine with new FA-50 aircraft from South Korea and squadrons of U.S. F-35 aircraft, said the country's president.

The Polish government's spokesman Piotr Muller said on March 15, as cited by Bloomberg, that Warsaw had received "clear declarations" from several unnamed countries willing to supply Ukraine with MiG-29s.

Earlier, Slovakia's Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad expressed his readiness for joint delivery of MiG-29s with Poland. However, a corresponding decision of the Slovak government has been delayed by political infighting before the country's early elections in September, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Kyiv's allies, including the U.S., have so far refused to supply modern fighter jets to Ukraine, such as the U.S.-built F-16, in service since the 1970s and operated by over 20 nations.

Politico: US senators from both parties pressing Pentagon to send F-16s to Ukraine
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