Poland is set to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine, President Andrzej Duda has announced, signaling renewed support for Kyiv ahead of an anticipated counteroffensive.
The precedent, involving four MiG-29s from the Soviet era as a first installment, could lead to other NATO allies sending fighters for Ukraine, a long-standing demand.
Duda said the first planes being transferred were inherited from East Germany in 1989.
The MiGs are nearing the end of their service life, but are “still in working order”, he said. The president added that additional Polish MiGs were undergoing maintenance and repairs in readiness for transfer to Ukraine. In the coming years, Poland’s 28 MiG-29s will be replaced by South Korean FA-50s and US F-35s.
The Polish declaration came one day after a virtual summit of defense ministers from more than forty nations helping Ukraine to plan the next supply of arms. Sweden indicated that it would send ten Leopard tanks, while Norway and the United States offered two additional Nasams anti-aircraft systems.
In the spring and summer, Ukraine is anticipated to seek a military breakthrough and is attempting to develop a well-equipped force with western-trained troops and western-supplied weapons. Nevertheless, delivery of Leopard tanks and other equipment have been slower than Kyiv had planned, and many of Ukraine’s experienced soldiers have been lost in the ongoing fight of attrition on the eastern front.