According to a statement published on Facebook by Ukrainian Army representatives, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia would have provided over 70 MiG-29 and SU-25 aircraft that would have been based at Polish airfields.
Poland won’t send MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets to Ukraine, the country said on Mar. 1, 2022 — the latest in a series of similar denials from EU countries that have highlighted early confusion about what the bloc’s new military support for Kyiv will actually encompass, POLITICO reports.
In addition to Poland, the Bulgarian and Slovakian governments have also recently ruled out the delivery of military aircraft to Ukraine.
On the same day, Ukrainian Army representatives announced that three NATO countries would have delivered more than 70 warplanes for Kiev.
According to a statement published on Facebook, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia would have provided over 70 MiG-29 and Su-25 aircraft that would have been based at Polish airfields, RT reported.
Sixteen MiG-29 planes and 14 Su-25s would have been provided by Bulgaria. Poland would have sent 28 MiG-29 warplanes, and Slovakia could have delivered 12 MiG-29 fighter jets, the officials stated.
As we have previously reported, in a historic move, the EU on Feb. 27 said it would take a much more assertive role in funneling weapons and other military equipment from its members to Ukraine, even using €450 million of EU funding to help finance the effort.
Among the weapons there were also MiG-29 fighter jets and Su-25 attack aircraft that the UE in the person of its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it intended to donate to Ukraine. According to our contributor and Helion & Company publisher’s editor Tom Cooper the move sounded logical: “Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria etc. are still flying MiG-29s, for example. Ukrainians can fly such jets, even if their communications and IFF have been significantly modified over the time. Still, I consider this for useless political decision in style of, ‘we must do something’. It’s going to make Ukrainians happy, no doubt, but, jets in question are 40 years old and ‘bent’ from all the training over the years, and some of installed equipment (especially IFF and radios) is not going to be ‘compatible’ with the Ukrainians.”
But he also said that “On top of that, it’s near pointless, because of the massive Russian superiority, and hiding fighter jets is anything else than easy. Thus, I’m curious to see if and how anything of this kind might be realised.”
But on Feb. 28 Borrell had to publicly backtrack: he acknowledged that even though fighter jets were “part of the request for aid that we received from Ukraine,” the EU did not have sufficient financial means to pay for those airplanes, which would have to be donated “bilaterally” by individual EU countries instead.
Nevertheless, on evening of the same day, a Ukrainian official said pilots had arrived in Poland to receive military aircraft from EU partners. The planes in question were MiG-29 fighter jets.
Not so, the countries said.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov explained that his country had a deficit of serviceable aircraft and parts and did not have sufficient fighter jets to guard its own airspace, let alone to lend jets to Ukraine, a Bulgarian official told POLITICO. A spokesperson for the Slovakian Ministry of Defense on Tuesday also denied any donation: “Slovakia will not provide fighter jets to Ukraine,” the spokesperson said.
Polish President Andrzej Duda joined the chorus on Tuesday. Speaking alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Łask Air Base in Poland, Duda said his country is “not going to send any jets to the Ukrainian airspace,” arguing “that would open a military interference in the Ukrainian conflict.”
Hours later, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki issued a more direct denial. “Poland doesn’t have such plans,” he said at a press conference.
In the meantime, on Mar. 1 the Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 that Landed in Romania on Feb. 24, 2022 has been returned to Ukraine.
As already reported the Flanker landed to the Romanian Air Force (RoAF) 95th Air Base in the northeastern Romanian city of Bacău after having been intercepted by the service’s F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets.
Photo credit: Jim.van.de.Burgt, Chavdar Garchev (Чавдар Гърчев) and Łukasz Golowanow via Wikipedia