Ukraine set to receive 70 fighter jets from EU nations, officials say

EU member states Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland are providing MiG-29 and Su-25 planes to Ukraine

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 01 March 2022 10:02
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EU foreign policy chief Borrell gives presser after meeting of EU foreign ministers on Ukraine

The European Union has decided to provide Ukraine with 70 Russian-made fighter planes to help the country’s defence against invading Russian troops.

In a statement on Facebook, the Air Force Command of Ukraine’s armed forces said the country will get 16 MiG-29 and 14 Su-25 planes from Bulgaria, 28 Mig-29 planes from Poland and another 12 MiG-29 jets from Slovakia.

A Ukrainian government official told Politico magazine that Ukrainian pilots had reached Poland to begin the process of taking control of the planes.

Late on Sunday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell had said in a statement that the planes would be transferred to the Ukrainian air force alongside deliveries of smaller items such as shoulder-fired anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles for the Ukrainian army.

“We are going to provide even fighter jets”, he was quoted as saying by the nonprofit newspaper EUobserver.

“We are not talking about just ammunition. We are providing the most important arms to go to war.”

Mr Borell added that the weapons were to be partly financed by €450m (£376m) from the EU budget.

The move will be the first-ever use of EU funds to buy lethal arms for a country at war, he noted.

He added that member states, including Denmark, Germany and Sweden, were also directly pouring in military supplies while Poland was serving as a “logistic hub”.

Help is also coming in for Ukraine’s military system from Canada with prime minister Justin Trudeau announcing on Tuesday that anti-tank weapon systems will be sent to the country.

In a statement on Twitter Mr Trudeau said: “We’re supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons systems and upgraded ammunition.”

“This is in addition to our three previous shipments of military equipment – and it’s on top of the night vision goggles, body armour, gas masks, and helmets we announced yesterday.”

He added that his administration has also decided to ban imports of Russian crude oil which “accounts for more than one third of Russia’s federal budget revenue, even though Canada has barely imported any Russian oil and gas in recent years, this move sends a powerful message”.

On 24 February, Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine after president Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation”.

While talks have been held between both sides on Monday, they have not yielded any results yet.

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