WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president says his country plans to give Ukraine a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the first NATO member to meet the Ukrainian government’s increasingly urgent requests for military aircraft.
President Andrzej Duda said on Thursday that Poland will hand over four Soviet-made military aircraft in the coming days, while the rest must be tested and delivered later.
Duda did not say whether other countries would take similar steps, although Slovakia said it would send its decommissioned MiGs to Ukraine.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Wednesday that some other countries that own MiGs have also handed them over to Kiev, but did not name them.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western supporters to share the fighter jets, NATO allies expressed hesitation.
Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine had a few dozen MiG-29s it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it’s unclear how many remain in service after more than a year of fighting.
Duda stated this during a joint press conference in Warsaw with the President of the Czech Republic, Piotr Pavel.
Duda said that the Polish Air Force will replace the planes they will hand over to Ukraine with South Korean FA-50 fighter jets and American F-35 fighter jets.