Illustrative photo – Two MiG-29 fighter jets (above and below) and two Polish Army F-16s at an air show.
Bratislava/Warsaw – Poland would agree to a joint procedure with Slovakia in handing over surplus MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, which is facing a military invasion by Russia. Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď wrote this on the social network. Bratislava has already expressed its willingness to hand over unused MiGs to Ukraine, Polish President Andrzej Duda previously said that the allies would first have to agree on such a procedure before delivering Polish fighter jets. Due to the possible transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine, Slovakia may change the constitution, as the cabinet of Prime Minister Eduard Heger lost some powers after his fall in December. Slovak politicians did not agree on who should take over some of the powers of the outgoing government.
“At the meeting of defense ministers of the EU member states on Wednesday in Sweden, a Polish colleague confirmed to me that his country would agree to a joint procedure between Slovakia and Poland in handing over the surplus MiG-29s of both countries to Ukraine. I think it is time for a decision, ” said Naď.
Polish President Duda told CNN on Wednesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates that Poland is ready to provide its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. He added that the delivery could take place as part of an international coalition, without elaborating. Today, the head of the Polish presidential office, Pawel Szrot, said that the number of fighters would be less than the 14 Leopard 2 tanks that Poland sent to Ukraine. “It will certainly not match the number of leopards, and it will certainly be within a wider international coalition,” Szrot said today.
Last year, Slovakia prematurely stopped using 11 MiGs and agreed with the Czech Republic and Poland to help secure its airspace until Bratislava receives the ordered American F-16 fighter jets. According to available information, Poland has several dozen MiGs. Ukraine has experience in operating these Soviet-designed fighters.
The opposition Slovak Social Democrats (Směr-SD) of ex-Prime Minister Robert Fico, who oppose the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, have repeatedly claimed that the outgoing Slovak government, after its fall, does not have the authority to decide on the transfer of fighter jets. According to Fico, this matter belongs to the fundamental issues of the country's foreign policy, which according to the constitution, Prime Minister Heger's cabinet can no longer discuss. Fico also said that his party in the lower house will not support a possible proposal to change the constitution on this matter.
The leader of the strongest government movement Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) Igor Matovič told journalists today that his party will propose amending the constitution so that the decision on the handing over of MiGs will ultimately be made by President Zuzana Čaputová as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It follows from the current text of the constitution that after a vote of no confidence in the government by the lower house, no one can decide, for example, on fundamental issues of foreign or domestic policy. Early elections in the country will be held at the end of September.
According to the Slovak media, Čaputová was opposed to the head of state taking over the competence to decide on fundamental issues of foreign policy in the event of the government's dismissal. “When the parliament took away the government's legitimacy in December and thus limited its powers, it follows from the logic of the matter and our constitution that it should be the parliament that should provide this legitimacy to the government in that particular decision or in general in all serious foreign issues politics,” said the Slovak president, who supported the very handing over of Slovak MiGs to Ukraine. Čaputová told politicians not to “hide behind women's skirts”.
According to Nada, people are dying in Ukraine, they can be helped and there is no room for Slovak politicking.