Slovakia approves sending fighter jets to Ukraine; Russia says NATO increases direct involvement in conflict

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Slovakia will send 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Friday, becoming the second NATO member to pledge the aircraft after Poland. .

“Promises must be kept and when [o presidente ucraniano Volodymyr] Zelensky asked for more weapons, including fighters, I said we’ll do our best. Good thing others [estão] doing the same,” said Heger on Twitter.

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Military aid is critical, he added, to ensure that Ukraine “can defend itself” and Europe against Russia.

Context: Poland has already announced that it will transfer four MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine in the coming days.

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Polish President Andrzej Duda said the planes – of around a dozen he inherited from the former German Democratic Republic – would be handed over after maintenance.

The White House said on Thursday that Poland’s decision to send the fighter jets was a “sovereign decision” that would not encourage US President Joe Biden to send F-16 aircraft.

Kremlin criticizes promises of fighter jets from Poland and Slovakia to Ukraine

The Kremlin has criticized Poland’s and Slovakia’s fighter jet donations to Ukraine and accused NATO of increasing its involvement in the war.

This week, the two nations announced new weapons pledges to support Ukraine, including MiG-29 fighter jets. Poland pledged four of the planes and Slovakia 13.

“It seems that these countries are engaged in the disposal of old and unnecessary equipment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

He told reporters the move is “yet another example” of how NATO members are “increasing their level of direct involvement in the conflict”.

Peskov said he would not risk the outcome of what Moscow consistently calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, adding that the move could cause further problems for Kiev.

Source: CNN Brasil

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