On April 13, Germany approved a request by Poland to transfer five Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine to bolster its air power.
Boris Pistorius, Germany’s Defense Minister, said the request was approved on the same day it was received, adding the quick approval shows that Berlin could be relied upon.
Germany inherited 24 MiG-29 jets from the eastern German Democratic Republic during reunification in 1990. Later in 2004, Berlin passed on 22 of the aircraft to Poland.
Poland delivered eight MiG-29s to Ukraine in the last few weeks. Those fighter jets were however bought from the Czech Republic in 1995. Warsaw needed Berlin approval to supply its remaining East German MiG-29s.
The Polish Air Force had a total of 23 MiG-29A fighter jets, and another six UB trainers before the supplies to Ukraine began. None of the jets saw any significant upgrade.
Both Germany and Poland have been supplying weapons to Kiev since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said during a visit to Warsaw last week that Poland would help form a coalition of Western powers to supply warplanes to the Ukrainian Air Force. From his side, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that his country is “ready” to deliver six more MiG-29 fighter jets.
Supplying Kiev with fighter jets will allow it to keep its air force operational. However, the Russian Aerospace Forces will likely maintain the upper hand over the special military operation zone thanks to its superior capabilities and vast resources.