Duda received President Pavlo, Poland will hand over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

Duda received President Pavel, Poland handed over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

New Czech President Petr Pavel (left) started his visit to Poland, which he is making at the invitation of Polish President Andrzej Duda, March 16, 2023, Warsaw. Press. Conference of Presidents (Flag Hall).

Warsaw – Czech President Peter Pavle was received with traditional military honors by his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Warsaw. Pavel arrived at the Presidential Palace with his wife Eva at 11:00 a.m. and after a joint meeting laid a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Soldier from the Polish-Soviet War. He also met with the Speaker of the Sejm, Elžbieta Witeková, and the President of the Polish Senate, Tomasz Grodzky. At the press conference after the meeting with Pavlo, Duda said that Poland will hand over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine in the coming days.

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Duda received President Pavel, Poland handed over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

Duda received President Pavel, Poland handed over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

Duda received President Pavel, Poland handed over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

Duda received President Pavel, Poland handed over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine

Visit Poland is Pavlo's second foreign trip after last week's inauguration. For the first, he was in Slovakia on Monday and Tuesday. While the presidential couple went to Bratislava by car, due to the distance they arrived in Warsaw by government special flight.

Upon arrival at the Presidential Palace, Duda and his wife welcomed Pavel and his wife in front of the mounted military unit. The ceremony included the national anthems of both countries and a short military parade. Pavel also greeted foreign diplomats. This was followed by a meeting of the two presidential couples, a private meeting of the presidents, meetings of national delegations and a press conference.

Pavel arrived in Poland, Duda received him with military honors 16.03.2023, 11:00, author: Karel Čapek, source: ČTK/Video

Pavel went to Poland just a week after his inauguration. He promised an early trip in the event of his election even before the elections in response to the statement of his opponent Andrej Babiš, who questioned possible Czech aid to Poland and the Baltics in the event of their eventual military attack. He repeated his intention to visit Poland even after the elections when meeting with Duda at a security conference in Munich.

At the press conference, the presidents said that they discussed economic cooperation, the development of transport links, the upcoming NATO summit and energy. Duda appreciated how soon Pavel arrived in Poland after the inauguration. According to Pavle, the relationship between the two countries has apparently never been as good as it is now, and he also sees the influence of the war in Ukraine, which helped him realize the value of cooperation.

In connection with Ukraine, during an early evening meeting with Czech journalists, Pavel said that the Czech Republic should be actively involved in its post-war reconstruction. “Just as we were active in supporting Ukraine during the war, we should be equally active in its post-war reconstruction. This represents a huge opportunity not only for Ukraine to get back on its feet after Russia's destructive war, but also for our companies,” he said. president. According to him, it would have been good to have drawn up a recovery plan for Ukraine in the foreseeable future, where the participation of individual countries in various projects would be indicated. “The more projects we have ready …, the less confusion and space for black holes,” he said.

In the afternoon, Pavel laid a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Soldier with the participation of an honorary military unit. This was followed by lunch with the Speaker of the Sejm, Elžbieta Witeková, and a meeting with the head of the Senate, Grodzky.

The Czech president also met with a group of compatriots at the Czech Embassy in Václav Havel Square, had a meeting with representatives of Polish-Czechoslovak Solidarity, and has dinner ahead of him with Duda.

Pavel will stay in Poland until Friday, when he will meet Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and visit the European border agency Frontex. Then the delegation will fly to Rzeszów Airport in the east of the country. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, it has served as a transshipment point for military aid provided to this country by Western countries.

The first lady has a partially separate program. During Pavel's meeting at the Presidential Palace, she and Dud's wife Agata Kornhauserová-Dudová toured the Royal Castle and had lunch together.

Poland will hand over four MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine in the coming days

Poland will hand over four supersonic MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine in the coming days. Duda said this at the press conference after the meeting with Pavlo. In total, Poland has at its disposal over ten machines, which in the past it took over from the armament of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Poland will provide other machines to Ukraine after their service and repair. According to Duda, the fighters are operational.

“First, literally in the next few days, we will hand over four airplanes to Ukraine,” said Duda. “The rest are being prepared, they are being serviced,” he added.

“We believe and expect that other countries that have these aircraft at their disposal will follow this decisive step and an example of a real contribution to the protection of Ukrainian skies, ” said Olena Kondratyukova, Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, in response to Duda's announcement. She thanked “Polish brothers and sisters”.

The question of whether fighter jets will be provided to Ukraine, which has been resisting the Russian invasion since last February, has been addressed by Kiev's allies almost since the beginning of the war. Poland already offered its Soviet-designed fighter jets last March and is repeatedly discussing the delivery, but some NATO allies are taking a cautious stance. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said today, according to Reuters, that this debate between Kyiv's allies is still ongoing.

In response to the new announcement, the White House said that Warsaw's move “doesn't change anything” on the position of the United States, which has so far refused to supply fighter jets to Ukraine. “It's not on the table,” AFP quoted presidential office spokesman John Kirby as saying. White House chief of staff Joe Biden said at the end of February that providing F-16 fighters to Kiev was out of the question “for now”, adding that the Ukrainian military “doesn't need F-16s right now”.

In an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza, Czech President Petr Pavel stated that the priority is not to deliver new fighter jets to the Ukrainians, because even if someone decided to do so, the jets would not arrive until next year. According to him, this process cannot be accelerated practically, and the MiG-29s, which are already used by the Ukrainian Air Force, remain in the game. “However, there are very few countries in Europe that continue to use machines of this type and could hand them over to Ukraine,” noted Pavel.

This week, the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talked about the delivery of fighter jets, however, within a four to six week horizon. Together with Poland, Slovakia previously wanted to hand over its MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, where the government discussed it on Wednesday. The decision has not yet been made, according to Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nada, further information from partners is awaited.

Poland, which is one of Ukraine's biggest supporters, has in recent months convinced other allies to provide it with modern tanks. Samo recently provided it with 14 German-made Leopard 2 armored vehicles.

Pavel and Duda discussed the economy, transport, the NATO summit and energy

Duda mentioned that the completion of the transport connection via the Czech D11 and the Polish S3 would create an important link between the two countries, make it easier for Czechs to visit the Baltic Sea and help trade. Considering Pavlo's rich experience in security matters, the NATO summit in Vilnius, which will take place in July, was also an important topic of the talks, added the Polish president.

The presidents also talked about energy security. “We talked about the development of the port in Gdańsk and potential deliveries to the Czech Republic through this port and the network of gas pipelines from Poland,” Duda mentioned. Pavel added that the war in Ukraine clearly showed the strategic risk of dependence on Russia. “I am glad that the Czech Republic managed to reduce dependence to zero in a short period of time. One of the important alternative routes leads through the terminal in Gdansk and the Stork II gas pipeline. I am glad that we are finding common ground here with the Polish side,” he added.

Duda called the fact that soon after the inauguration, Pavel arrived to visit Poland as a great impetus in building relations. He appreciated that he headed to Warsaw immediately after his usual visit to Slovakia. The cooperation between the Czech Republic and Poland is at a high level, emphasized Pavel. “Probably throughout history, our relations have not been as good as they are now. This is certainly also due to the war in Ukraine. We realized the price of cooperation with friends and allies,” he emphasized.

He sees potential for improvement in addition to the transport connection Pavel, for example, in cross-border relations. He identified as important how the entire region will manage to cooperate in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. “It will be a huge opportunity for the economies and it will be important how we manage to align interests in the spirit of a common higher goal. The interests of our companies in particular so that they do not compete where we have the potential to achieve much more together,” said Pavel.

< p>Duda mentioned the leading role of both countries in supporting Ukraine so far. “We have no doubts that Ukraine should be part of the European Union. It is our great political goal that it joins the Union,” he said. According to him, the country offers enormous potential in the field of agriculture, natural resources, and industry. He sees a great future in the relations between the Czech Republic and Poland in cooperation in the reconstruction of Ukraine.