The Kremlin has warned that Russia will destroy fighter jets given to Ukraine by NATO countries amid the escalating conflict.
“As we have repeatedly stated, the delivery of these planes certainly does not affect the outcome of the special military operation, but only causes more suffering for Ukraine itself and its people.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 17.
According to Peskov, the plan to supply Poland with MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine is another proof that many NATO countries, including Poland, are “increasingly involved in the conflict”.
“Of course, these planes will be destroyed during the special military operation,” Peskov warned.
On the same day, the Russian Embassy in Bratislava said it was illegal for Slovakia to transfer Soviet and Russian-made weapons to Ukraine.
“The transfer of Soviet and Russian-made weapons to Kyiv is illegal from a legal perspective because the relevant Russian-Slovak agreements expressly prohibit any transfers of weapons and equipment to Kyiv. military equipment to a third country without the consent of the country of origin,” the Russian embassy said.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on March 16 announced that in the coming days, Poland will hand over four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. According to President Duda, these are the MiG-29s that Poland received from Germany in the 1990s and although they have reached the end of their life, they still operate normally.
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced today that his government has approved a plan to donate 13 MiG-29 fighters and part of the 2K12 Kub medium-range air defense system to Ukraine. This decision makes Slovakia the second NATO member to commit to providing fighter jets to Ukraine after Poland.
Poland has been one of the NATO members that have strongly supported Kyiv since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in February last year. With the decision to transfer the MiG-29 to Ukraine, Poland will become the NATO country that is donating fighter jets to assist Kyiv in its conflict with Russia despite Moscow’s earlier warnings.
Poland’s decision could become a catalyst for other NATO countries to consider supplying fighters to Kyiv. However, the White House yesterday affirmed that Poland’s move does not mean that the US will also provide F-16s to Ukraine.
The US or its allies such as Germany, France, and Britain are still concerned that the aid of fighter jets to Kyiv will increase the risk of direct confrontation with Russia. These countries just stopped supporting battle tanks, air defense systems, and ammunition. They believe that ammunition is the most urgent need for Ukraine right now.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on March 2 that the supply of NATO fighters to Ukraine and their maintenance on the territory of the countries of this alliance will be considered direct participation. NATO into conflict with Russia. Moscow considers the weapons provided to Kyiv by foreign countries as legitimate military targets.