On 16 March 2023, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, said that his country plans to donate a dozen MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine which would make it the first NATO member to fulfill the urgent requests for warplanes by the Ukrainian government.
Andrzej Duda said: “Firstly, literally within the next few days, we will hand over, as far as I remember, four aircraft to Ukraine in full working order. The rest are being prepared, serviced”. The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Marowiecki, said that deliveries of the rest could be made in four to six weeks.
One day later, 17 March 2023, the Slovakian government joined the Polish government in approving a plan to donate thirteen MiG-29s to Ukraine, becoming the second NATO member to fulfill the urgent requests by Ukrainian.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger said: “This decision by the government is on the right side of history”. According to the Minister of Defence, Jaroslav Nad, Slovakia will receive 200 million euros from the European Union (EU) and unspecified arms, worth 700 million euros, from the US in exchange for transferring its MiG-29 fleet to Ukraine.
Scramble Magazine reported first on a possible donation of MiG-29s by the Slovakian government on 14 August 2022.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “These promised planes are another example of NATO members raising the level of their direct involvement in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine”.
According to the Scramble database, the Siły Powietrzne RP (Polish Air Force) has a mix of 29 operational MiG-29s in its inventory, of which three are dual seat aircraft. The Vzdušné sily Ozbrojených síl Slovenskej republiky (Slovakian Air Force) officially retired its MiG-29s on 31 August 2022. By that time, they only had 11 operational MiG-29s in their inventory. So it might be they will also donate some aircraft that have been stored for a longer period, although these fighters have not been upgraded to the latest NATO norms.
Photos (both Scramble Archive) by Ralph C. Block (Slovakian AF MiG-29) and Vladimir Vido (Polish AF MiG-29)