Slovakia to send MiG-29s to Ukraine as Prague pledges to protect its airspace
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the deployment of the country’s air force to patrol Slovak airspace.
Fiala made the statement during a televised debate with his Slovak counterpart Edward Heger.
“The Czech Air Force will temporarily protect the skies of Slovakia from September. This is a great example of trust and cooperation. We will be happy to do this. We are prepared technically and in terms of capability” , he wrote on Twitter.
“We cannot allow Slovakia, as a country on the border of a war conflict, to be endangered in any way.”
České letectvo bude od září dočasně chránit nebe nad Slovenskem. Je to krásný příklad důvěry a spolupráce. Rádi in uděláme. Jsme připraveni technicky i kapacitně.
Nemůžeme dopustit, aby bylo Slovensko jako země na hranici válečného konfliktu jakkoliv ohrožené. pic.twitter.com/E4gwMA0ru0
— Petr Fiala (@P_Fiala) July 3, 2022
One year deployment
Prague is expected to deploy JAS 39 Gripens in its patrol duties over Slovak airspace, The reader reported.
The deployment could last up to a year, the outlet wrote, adding that the deal is still being negotiated.
Slovak MiG 29 for Ukraine
The deal would allow Slovakia to send a fleet of MiG 29 fighters to Ukraine, European Pravda wroteadding that the arms delivery would also include Soviet-made tanks.
Slovakia has a fleet of 11 MiG-29s, a mix of AS single-seaters and UBS two-seaters. The country signed a deal in 2018 to buy 14 F-16 Block 70 jets from the United States. Planes are expected to start arriving in 2024.
Slovakia had previously Free deliver MiG-29s to Ukraine if NATO agreed to protect its airspace. A similar offer from Poland was refuse by the United States, which feared an escalation of the conflict.