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Poland and the Czech Republic to protect Slovak airspace

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The Czech Republic and Poland will protect the airspace of neighboring Slovakia as the Nato member country says goodbye to its Russian-made MiG-29s, the Slovak Defense Ministry said on Saturday (27 August).

Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad and his Czech counterparts Jana Cernochová and Polish Mariusz Blaszak signed an agreement on the protection of Slovak airspace by the Czech and Polish air forces. “The agreement will come into effect on September 1, when the Slovak MiG-29 fighter jets will be grounded.Defense Ministry spokesperson Martina Koval Kakasikova said in a statement.

Earlier, the ministry announced that the MiGs would be decommissioned because maintenance was too expensive and Russian personnel would gradually leave Slovakia.

In April, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his country might send MiG-29s to Ukraine, but did not provide details.

On August 14, Jaroslav Nad denied reports that Slovakia had already handed over the equipment to Ukraine, adding that a final decision had not yet been made.

The Czech Republic and Poland will protect Slovak airspace until the US provides F-16 fighter jets to Slovakia to replace the MiG-29s. Their purchase was completed in 2018 and delivery is scheduled for 2024.

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