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Germany approves Poland’s request to send MiG-29 jets to Ukraine

13.04.2023 23:00
The German government has greenlighted Poland’s request to transfer five Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to help Ukraine’s war effort against the Russian invasion, officials in Berlin have said. 
MiG-29 fighter jets.
MiG-29 fighter jets.PAP/Adam Warżawa

Germany’s approval was announced by the country’s defence ministry on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said that the request from Warsaw arrived earlier in the day and its swift acceptance showed that “Germany could be relied upon,” according to the Reuters news agency. 

The five MiG-29s in question had been part of a batch of 22 machines sold to Poland by Germany in 2004, according to Reuters.

Germany had inherited them from the Soviet-controlled German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany, during reunification in 1990, according to officials.

Consent from Berlin is necessary for any subsequent transfer of German-supplied jets to a third country, news outlets reported.

Poland supplies MiG-29 jets to Ukraine

Last week, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said that his country had already transferred eight MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine and was ready to provide all of its MiG-29s in the future to help its neighbour repel Russia's invasion.

Speaking after talks in Warsaw with his visiting Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, Duda at the time revealed that Poland was preparing to send six more jets to bolster Ukraine's air defence capabilities, news agencies reported.

Meeting reporters alongside Zelensky, Duda declared on April 5: "I think that in the future we will be able to transfer our whole remaining fleet of MiG-29s to Ukraine if there is still such a need."

The move, however, would need to be approved by NATO allies because the remaining fighter jets in Poland's possession had been "adapted to NATO standards," he said, according to the IAR news agency.

Ukraine has urged Western allies to provide it with fighter jets to defend against Russia’s air strikes, news outlets have reported.

Western countries have so far been reluctant to send advanced combat aircraft such as F-16s to Kyiv, but some countries, such as Poland and Slovakia, have stepped in to deliver old MiG-29 jets that Ukraine already uses, Reuters reported.

Poland to deliver ‘next portion’ of MiG-29 jets to Ukraine: PM

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday called on Ukraine’s allies to support Kyiv “wholeheartedly” with weapons ahead of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Responding to a question from Britain’s The Guardian newspaper about whether Poland would provide a new batch of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Morawiecki said: “Yes, we are going to deliver the next portion of MiG-29s to Ukraine.”

He added that Poland was “filling the gap” left by the transfer of the Soviet-era MiG-29s to Kyiv.

He said Poland would receive “at least 32” F-35 stealth jets from the United States “over the next couple of years” to complement an existing fleet of 48 F-16s.

Thursday was day 414 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, Reuters, dw.com/pl