Discussing the delivery of combat aircraft to Ukraine again
The ice is broken: more and more NATO members are supplying Ukraine with heavy equipment. Even planes are being discussed again. The United States appears in the background.
Slovakia is ready to hand over its Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine so that it can better defend itself against the Russian invasion. After Prime Minister Edouard Heeger articulated these considerations at a news conference with Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo, in an interview with Politico, Heger spoke of a “very intense discussion” with the United States and other allies about how to secure their airspace. Slovakia will receive US F-16s in 2024 and demands security guarantees.
According to Heger, who was in Ukraine with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the MiG-29 could not be maintained without individual parts of Russia, but his country did not want such a “relationship”. In addition, the government in Kyiv had ordered aircraft and Zuzana-type howitzers. “If this material is useful anywhere, it is in Ukraine,” Heger told SME. The EU should help Ukraine “to win”.
The debate that was the subject of NATO and the European Union a month ago returns. At that time, Poland offered to abandon the MiG-29 And he wanted to deliver it to Ukraine via the American base in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. The US Department of Defense immediately rejected this, because Russia’s nuclear power could see the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine by a NATO member as an escalation. The defense alliance wants to avoid direct confrontation with Moscow at all costs, so the delivery of MiG-29s, unlike tanks, is considered risky.
Meanwhile, Kyiv continues to be supported by heavy equipment. During his visit to Kyiv, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged 120 armored vehicles and more anti-ship missiles. Shortly before that, London had already pledged military aid worth nearly 120 million euros: 800 anti-tank weapons, precision-guided munitions and modern Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles with a range of up to seven kilometers. It is a complement to the Soviet S-300 air defense system, which has a range of more than 100 km. Slovakia gave Ukraine only one. In NATO, Bulgaria and Greece still have the S-300 systems. Here, too, the United States is likely to apply friendly pressure.
The United States reports that “some countries” will leave tanks for Ukraine
For the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine to be feared in the next few weeks, Kyiv is demanding not only hundreds of armored vehicles, but also main battle tanks – and it seems to be getting them. “Some countries have delivered tanks to Ukraine,” a US Defense Department official said Tuesday night. This is the equipment that Ukrainian soldiers already know and can repair, and it is available in large numbers in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The United States is said to be ready to replace these systems with new materials – and quickly.
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