Polish President Andrzej Duda confirmed on Thursday at a press conference that the country will send four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the next few days.
Warsaw’s stance on sending fighter jets to Ukraine’s war effort against Russia has been the boldest among NATO members.
Although the nations that make up the military alliance have sent a range of weapons and military equipment to Kiev, the supply of fighter jets is still a subject of controversy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has insisted on receiving Western aircraft such as the F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, but countries that have these fighters are reluctant to offer them, fearing an escalation in the conflict.
“Firstly, literally within the next few days, we will hand over, as far as I remember, four aircraft to Ukraine in full working order,” said the Polish president. According to the president, the country has between 10 and 20 MiG-29 fighters that can be sent to Ukraine.
According to the CNN, another country that is also considering supplying MiG-29 jets to Kiev is Slovakia, which along with Poland has been acting as one of Zelensky’s biggest allies in the war against Russia.
The confirmation of the fighter jet deployment to Ukraine comes two days after a US MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone was shot down in the Black Sea by a Russian Air Force Su-27 in a risky manoeuvre.
Sending MiG-29 fighters to the Ukrainian war effort is considered the most appropriate due to the long experience of Ukrainian airmen and maintainers with this type of aircraft.
The Polish jets that will be destined for the country are units manufactured in the 1980s, from the times of the former Soviet Union.
The Ukrainian Air Force has MiG-29, Su-27 fighters and Su-25 attack planes that are outdated compared to similar ones operated by Russia.