The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked Slovakia for Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets. The Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger then promised him that “to work towards the fulfillment of this wish”. This emerges from a brief conversation between the two politicians. The government office in Bratislava made a corresponding video recording available to the German Press Agency on Thursday evening. “It is in the interest of Slovak and European security to help you,” Heger replied to the Ukrainian President on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels at his request.
Heger explained to the Slovakian news agency TASR that the specific procedure for handing over the combat aircraft would not only be discussed within Slovakia, but also at European level. Because Slovakia would hand over the MiG-29 to Ukraine as part of an EU funding mechanism. Therefore, the date of the handover is still open. However, the Slovakian government is interested in the negotiations being concluded as quickly as possible.
The Slovakian MiG fighter planes had been desired by neighboring Ukraine shortly after the start of the Russian invasion. A few months later, Slovakian Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad announced that he would no longer use the MiG-29s, which he had previously described as “essential”, from autumn 2022 because they were outdated and could only be serviced by technicians from “enemy Russia”.
Despite this, there was initially no handover to Ukraine. This fueled speculation that Slovakia was expecting similar compensation from Germany or other NATO partners for the handover as it was granted for the surrender of battle tanks.
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