Poland will deliver “in the coming days” a first batch of four Mig-29 fighter-bombers to Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Thursday (March 16th), which will be the first such delivery from a NATO member state.

kyiv has long asked its Western allies to supply it with modern fighter-bombers, hoping to obtain American F-16s. The Polish decision “does not change anything” to the American refusal, clarified shortly after John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House, who recalled that President Joe Biden had opposed the delivery of planes fight in Ukraine.

“Migs won’t solve the problems. We need F-16s, but [the MiGs] will help boost our capabilities,” said Yury Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force.

Aircraft usable today

The Russian government has so far not reacted to the Polish decision, but the Kremlin has repeatedly said that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine only prolongs the conflict and the “suffering” of the population, without changing Moscow’s “military objectives”.

During his press conference, the Polish President announced that other aircraft currently undergoing maintenance would “probably” be transferred later. “We can therefore say that we are about to send these MiGs to Ukraine,” he said, adding that Poland has about fifteen MiGs inherited in the 1990s from the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic.

“These MiGs are still in service with the Polish Air Force. These are the last years of operation of these devices which still remain, for the most part, operational “, continued the Head of State, adding that Ukrainian pilots could use them “from today, without additional training “. They will be replaced by South Korean FA-50 aircraft and American F-35s.