Slovakia's Prime Minister Not Ruling Out Bratislava Could Send MiG-29 Fighters To Ukraine


Slovakia's Prime Minister Not Ruling Out Bratislava Could Send MiG-29 Fighters to Ukraine

PRAGUE (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th March, 2023) Incumbent Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger on Tuesday did not rule out that Bratislava could make a positive decision on deliveries of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine,

"I think the government has all necessary competencies to do so, to send this unused equipment, thereby the government will make the decision, and we will send MiGs to Ukraine," Heger said in an interview with the SME newspaper.

The prime minister did not object to the opposition's intention to inspect the Sliac Air Base, where MiG-29s are stationed, to see if the fighters are still in the republic and whether these are out of service.

"They can do that if they make it in time (before aircraft are gone)," the minister said.

On the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels on February 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Heger to supply Ukraine with MiG-29 fighters. Heger initially told Zelenskyy that Slovakia would do its best to grant the request. However, opposition leader from the Direction - Slovak Social Democracy party and ex-Prime Minister Robert Fico said that Heger's promise was unconstitutional since his incumbent government is interim and performing duties until the snap parliamentary elections, scheduled for September 30.

On Tuesday, Slovak parliament speaker Boris Kollar said that ruling party leaders had found a solution to the aircraft delivery impasse but did not provide any details.

Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď said on Tuesday that Bratislava may decide to supply 10 discarded MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine at its next meeting on Wednesday.

Slovak media reported that the country had 11 MiG-29 fighters, of which 10 aircraft could be transferred to Ukraine and one to a museum, as the Slovak air force no longer uses them.

Western countries have been supplying Ukraine with various types of weapon systems, including air defense missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, tanks, self-propelled artillery, and anti-aircraft guns since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine over a year ago. Moscow has warned that arms deliveries do not contribute to a peaceful resolution and further escalate the conflict, risking full-scale NATO involvement in the fighting.