A Polish official said Monday that Warsaw had delivered its first batch of Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
“A few MiG-29s have already been sent. They are indeed helpful to Ukraine in its defense of our collective security,” said Marcin Przydacz, a Polish presidential aide, according to AFP.
It’s not clear how many planes Poland will provide Kyiv. When Polish President Andrzej Duda announced last month that Warsaw would send MiG-29s, he said the first batch would be four fighter jets and that more deliveries could follow.
Poland was the first NATO member to pledge to send fighter jets to Ukraine, which marks an escalation of the alliance’s support for Kyiv. Slovakia followed Poland and said it delivered the first four of 13 MiG-29s it promised Ukraine on March 23.
Last year, in March 2022, the Pentagon turned down a Polish proposal to send MiG-29s to Ukraine, fearing it would escalate the war. NATO officials said at the time that Russia could view such assistance as the alliance directly entering the war.
But now, the US and its allies aren’t as concerned about escalation. The US must have been involved in the decision to arm Ukraine with MiG-29s as it has offered Slovakia $660 million in financing for an attack helicopter deal as a reward for sending the jets.