| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Poland asks German permission to send old MiG-29s to Ukraine

The German government confirmed on Thursday, that Poland has issued a formal request to Germany for permission to send Cold War-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
According to German rules, the weapons that it sells require approval from Berlin if the receiving country wants to send them on to a third country.
Poland had already sent eight of the jets to Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda recently said after first announcing the plan in March, but the ones they want to now deliver come from old East German stocks.
The Soviet-made planes formerly belonged to East Germany and 23 were transferred to Poland in 2002.
Duda’s security adviser Jacek Siewiera said that a dozen of the jets were still in Poland
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said during a visit to Bundeswehr soldiers in Mali that the German government would likely reach a decision on approval on Thursday, German news agency DPA reported.

Ukraine has been calling for the delivery of fighter jets to better defend against Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Jets had been high on Kyiv’s list of desired equipment since early in the war, but efforts had been focused on acquiring advanced Western tanks.

But calls for Western fighter jets have increased since Germany and the US agreed to send Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks to Ukraine respectively.

Although the MiG-29s may provide some relief to Ukraine, they are unlikely to satiate its demands.

Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, Andriy Melnyk, has previously called for “a powerful fighter jet coalition for Ukraine,” comprising US-made F-16s and F-35s, Eurofighter, Tornado, Rafale and Gripen warplanes.

  • DW