WARSAW (Reuters) -Poland will send Ukraine four MiG-29 fighter jets in coming days, the president said on Thursday, making it the first of Kyiv’s allies to provide such aircraft.
One of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters, Warsaw has taken a leading role in persuading sometimes hesitant allies to provide Kyiv with heavy weaponry. It has said that any transfer of jets would be as part of a coalition.
“Firstly, literally within the next few days, we will hand over, as far as I remember, four aircraft to Ukraine in full working order,” Andrzej Duda told a news conference.
“The rest are being prepared, serviced.”
On Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that deliveries could be made in four to six weeks.
Duda said that Poland had roughly 10-20 MiG 29 jets.
NATO allies in the former communist east such as Poland and Slovakia have been particularly vocal supporters of Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
Slovakia has also been considering whether to send MiG-29s to Ukraine but has yet to reach a decision.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday that the debate about sending fighter jets was ongoing.
“This is something we’re discussing in the group of allied countries. It’s a big wish from Ukraine,” she said.
Poland has sent 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Asked last week how many MiG-29s Warsaw might supply, the head of the president’s office, Pawel Szrot, said it would “certainly not” be as many as 14.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Toby Chopra, Bernadette Baum and Nick Macfie)
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