Poland plans to send planes ordered by Ukraine

WARSAW (AP) — Poland plans to deliver a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, the Polish president said Thursday, becoming the first NATO member country to respond to an urgent request for aircraft from the Ukrainian government.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country will hand over four of the Soviet-made planes in the coming days and the rest must be examined for later delivery.

Duda did not clarify if other countries will do the same, although Slovakia has announced that it will send its disused MiGs to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller indicated that other countries with MiGs had also promised them to kyiv, but did not name them.

Western NATO members have been reluctant to respond to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to send him fighter jets.

Before the full-scale invasion of Russia, Ukraine had several dozen MiG-29s it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it is unclear how many remain in service after more than a year of fighting.

Duda made the announcement during a joint press conference in Warsaw with the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel.

Duda said Poland’s air force will replace the planes it delivers to Ukraine with South Korean-made FA-50 fighter jets and US-made F-35 fighter jets.

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