Poland to be first NATO nation to supply fighter jets to Ukraine

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Poland stated Thursday it plans to present Ukraine a few dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, which might make it the primary NATO member to meet Kyiv’s more and more pressing requests for warplanes to defend itself towards the Russian invasion,

Warsaw will hand over 4 of the Soviet-made warplanes “within the next few days,” President Andrzej Duda stated, and the remainder wanted servicing however can be equipped later. The Polish phrase he used to explain the full quantity can imply between 11 and 19.

“They are in the last years of their functioning, but they are in good working condition,” Duda stated.

He didn’t say whether or not different nations would observe swimsuit, though Slovakia has stated it will ship its personal disused MiGs to Ukraine. Poland was additionally the primary NATO nation to supply Ukraine with German-made Leopard 2 tanks.

This {photograph} taken on Jan. 1, 2023, exhibits a MIG-29 Ukrainian fighter jet flying over jap Ukraine.

SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP through Getty Images

On Wednesday, Polish authorities spokesman Piotr Mueller stated another nations additionally had pledged MiGs to Kyiv, however didn’t establish them. Both Poland and Slovakia had indicated they have been prepared at hand over their planes, however solely as a part of a wider worldwide coalition doing the identical.


The authorities in neighboring NATO member Germany appeared caught off guard by Duda’s announcement.

“So far, everyone has agreed that it’s not the time to send fighter jets,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius advised reporters. “I don’t have any confirmation from Poland yet that this has happened.”

The White House known as Poland’s transfer a sovereign determination and praised the Poles for persevering with to “punch above their weight” in aiding Kyiv, however it harassed the transfer would haven’t any bearing on President Biden, who has resisted calls to supply US F-16s to Ukraine.

“There’s no change in our view with respect to fighter aircraft at this time,” stated White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “That is our sovereign decision. That is where we are, other nations can speak to their own” choices.

The White House stated Poland notified the US of its determination to supply MiGs earlier than Duda introduced the transfer.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine had a number of dozen MiG-29s it inherited within the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, however it’s unclear what number of stay in service after greater than a 12 months of preventing.


The debate over whether or not to supply non-NATO member Ukraine with fighter jets began final 12 months, however NATO allies expressed concern about escalating the alliance’s position within the warfare. The hesitation continued whilst Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made more and more vocal pleas for Western supporters to share their warplanes.

Duda made the announcement throughout a joint information convention in Warsaw with the visiting Czech President Petr Pavel.

Duda stated Poland’s air pressure would exchange the planes it offers to Ukraine with South Korea-made FA-50 fighters and American-made F-35s.

Poland has offered Ukraine with essential assist in the course of the warfare. It is internet hosting hundreds of American troops and has taken in additional Ukrainians than some other nation in the course of the refugee exodus sparked by the Russian invasion.


The central European nation skilled Russian invasions and occupations for hundreds of years and nonetheless fears Russia regardless of being a NATO member.

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