A MiG-29 of the Polish Air Force takes off over Siauliai airport, Lithuania, May 15, 2014.
A MiG-29 of the Polish Air Force takes off on May 15, 2014 over Siauliai Airport, Lithuania. (Jacob Kaminski/EPA/Shutterstock)

Poland is ready to provide Ukraine Four MiG-29 fighter jets In the coming days, the Polish President andrej duda said on Thursday, becoming the first NATO country to do so.

Warsaw has taken the lead among NATO allies in supplying Kiev with heavy weapons, including Soviet-designed fighter aircraft. Duda said, “When it comes to Mi-29 aircraft, which are still serving in the defense of Polish airspace, a decision has been made at the highest level, we can confidently say that we will send MiGs to Ukraine.” Sending.”

“We have a dozen or so MIGS that were handed over to us from the German Democratic Republic in the 90s and they are functional and play a role in the defense of our airspace. They are at the end of their operational life but still functional,” Duda said.

“In the coming days we will hand over four aircraft to Ukraine, the remaining machines are being serviced and prepared for handover. We will replace them with deliveries of South Korean FA-50s and American F-35s,” Polish the president said.

Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw alongside his new Czech counterpart Petr Pavel, the Polish president expressed their joint support for Kiev.

President Duda said, “The Czech Republic and Poland are the countries that have spoken of supporting Ukraine, both at the humanitarian and military levels.”

More Background: Thursday’s announcement comes after NATO allies agreed earlier this year To send modern Western battle tanks to Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his country would provide 14 Leopard 2 tanks in January, bowing to growing international pressure led by the United States, Poland and a group of other European nations, which urged Berlin to increase its military support. And called upon to commit to it. Shipping your requested vehicles.

The announcement was made after US President Joe Biden said it would provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing the administration’s longstanding resistance to the highly sophisticated but maintenance-heavy vehicles from Kiev.

Since the decision on the tanks, top Ukrainian officials are grown their people Lobbying for US-made F-16 fighter jetsArguing that they are urgently needed to defend against Russian missile and drone attacks.

But that push has been met with skepticism by US and allied officials who say the jets would be impractical, both because they require considerable training and because Russia has extensive anti-aircraft systems that could easily shoot them down. Can

CNN’s Natasha Bertrand and Alex Marquardt contributed reporting to this post.

Source link