Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia have firmly denied that they plan to supply combat jets to Ukraine in support of its ongoing resistance to an invasion by Russia.
In a report by Shepard Media, it was stated that the three European countries might approve an urgent request from Kyiv since they operate combat jets familiar to Ukrainian military pilots.
Poland and Slovakia operate Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters, while Bulgaria has a fleet of Su-25 aircraft.
However, Polish President Andrzej Duda said earlier this week that his country would not join the ongoing conflict since NATO is not directly involved.
He said that while Poland has pledged its full support to Ukraine through humanitarian assistance, the country cannot send jets to help the Ukrainian Air Force.
Slovakia and Bulgaria have made similar comments, adding that it would be “completely absurd” to donate combat-ready aircraft since they only operate a small number and continue to face supply problems.
The decision regarding sending combat jets to Ukraine contradicts a social media post from Ukrainian Air Force Command saying that more than 70 aircraft would be supplied to Kyiv, including 28 from Poland, 16 from Bulgaria, and 12 from Slovakia.
European Union representative Josep Borell also disclosed that a plan to send fighter jets to Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion had been approved under a 500-million-euro ($554 million) grant.
“We are going to provide fighter jets; we are not talking about just munitions, we are providing arms to go to war,” he said, as quoted by the defense news site. “We know what kind of planes member states have and for the time being the western borders of Ukraine are still open.”
Military analysts say that even if combat jets are sent to Ukraine, it may experience problems keeping runways open and usable if the Russian Air Force joins the war.
Ukrainian pilots would also need “a couple of weeks” to get used to the new cockpit layout and air-to-air weapons of the Russian-made combat jets used by the European nations.