Bratislava, Slovakia – Poland said it was ready to defend the Slovak airspace to make up for the potential transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
“I got a confirmation that Poland is ready to take care of Slovakia’s air space from the moment Slovakia decides to ground the MiG-29 jets,” Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said during a joint press conference with Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak.
The agreement would allow Slovakia to transfer its 12 MiG-29 fighter planes to Ukraine to help its eastern neighbour fight off Russia’s invasion.
Defence Minister Nad confirmed that Slovak authorities were now working on a legislative proposal to allow its EU and NATO ally to police its airspace.
Slovakia had already been planning to replace its ageing fleet of Soviet-made MiG-29s with US-made F-16s. In 2019, Bratislava and Washington inked a historic defence deal, planning for the delivery of 18 F-16s, with a first batch expected in 2024.
Slovakia and Poland, two NATO member states which share a land border with war-torn Ukraine, have been among the most vocal supporters of Kyiv in the wake of the Russian invasion more than two months ago.