The German government approves Poland’s request to deliver old German Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Germany inherited 24 MiG-29 jets from the East German GDR during reunification in 1990. At the time, the aircraft was seen as among the most advanced fighter jets in the world.
In 2004, Berlin passed on 22 of the aircraft to Poland. Of the remaining two jets, one was destroyed in a crash and one is on show at a museum.
Poland needs Berlin’s consent to send its remaining jets to a third country.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said the request had arrived Thursday, and that Berlin’s same-day approval showed that Germany could be relied upon.
“We can promise our Polish partners the delivery of five MiG-29s” to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, according to a ministerial statement, which said that Germany received the application for the re-export on Thursday. Sales contracts for military equipment from Germany usually require the German government to give its consent to any subsequent transfer.
“I welcome the fact that we in the federal government have reached this decision together,” Pistorius said. “This shows Germany is reliable.”
Western countries have so far been reluctant to provide Ukraine with advanced fighter jets, such as the US-made F-16s, but some countries have stepped in to send old MiG-29 jets that Ukraine already uses.
Calls for Western aircraft have increased since Germany and the United States agreed to send Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks to Ukraine, respectively.