Poland to send first 4 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine: President
Warsaw takes among NATO allies in supplying Kiev with weapons.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Poland will hand over the first four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days.
"We can safely say that we are also sending MiG jets to Ukraine. We have more than ten of them in stock at the moment," Duda said at a press conference with Czech President Petr Pavel, adding that four fighters will be provided "literally in the coming days."
On the other hand, Austria, Ireland, and Malta will not participate in the European Union's 2-billion-euro ($2.1 billion) procurement scheme to supply Ukraine with weapons and munitions because of their constitutional or historical neutrality, EUobserver reported on Thursday, citing diplomats.
The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced last week that a new three-pillar aid plan for Ukraine, which provides for the supply of weapons from the bloc's stockpiles, an increase in the EU's defense production, and the allotment of EU budget funds to speed up defense manufacturing.
The European Peace Facility is a funding mechanism worth 8 billion euros and is expected to fund reimbursements to EU donors and new purchases with 2 billion euros.
Diplomats informed EUobserver that on Friday in Brussels, ambassadors will finalize the agreement so that leaders can announce it at a summit the following week.
Earlier last week, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced on March 9 the decision to supply Kiev with a new batch of 10 Leopard 2 tanks.
"We have transferred another 10 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine," Blaszczak told journalists, noting that other NATO member-states will soon send their tanks to Ukraine, including eight tanks from Canada, eight from Norway, and six from Spain.
This adds up to a recent batch of four Leopard 2 tanks that Poland sent to Ukraine in late February.