Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovakia is considering donating its Soviet-made MiG-29s to bolster Ukraine’s air defence against Russia, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said earlier this week.
Talking to reporters after a trip to Kyiv last week, the Slovak PM announced that “a very intense discussion with our partners” had been initiated to provide Ukraine with additional fighter jets.
Such a move would only be possible if Slovakia received security guarantees its own air defence would be safeguarded, Heger said, noting that Slovakia is anyway planning to replace its MiG-29s with US-made F-16s by 2024.
Earlier discussions to provide Ukraine with MiG-29s – which are also used by Poland and Bulgaria – broke down as the move was seen by some Western allies as too risky and escalatory.
“We certainly would not object to it. We have no right to object to it,” a top US official from the Pentagon said regarding Slovakia’s potential transfer.
Slovakia has already provided Ukraine with its Soviet-made S-300 air defence system, receiving an American Patriot missile system in exchange.
Ukrainian and Slovak officials have dismissed the Russian Defence Ministry’s claim that the S-300 system had been destroyed shortly after the delivery.
Slovak authorities are also in talks with Ukraine and Western partners to sell its Zuzana self-propelled howitzers to its eastern neighbour.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger added that Ukrainian troops could be allowed to train on Slovak soil, especially in case local troops would need to learn how to use Western-made weapons instead of the more familiar Soviet-made ones.
Slovakia has emerged as a key political and military partner of Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, also supporting Kyiv’s fast-track EU membership and advocating for an oil and gas embargo against Russia.