NATO Countries Respond to Ukrainian President’s Plea for Fighter Jets

Poland and Slovakia have become the first two NATO countries to answer Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s pleas for fighter jets to help repel Russia’s invasion. On Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda declared that Poland will deliver four Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days, making Poland the first NATO country to supply fighter planes to Ukraine.[0] Slovakia followed suit, pledging to donate 13 MiG-29 warplanes to Ukraine.

Russia has warned that it will take action against any fighter jets provided to Ukraine by its allies, following the pledge of Soviet-era aircraft by two countries.[1] On Thursday, White House officials declared that Poland's independent decision will have no influence on the evaluation of sending American F-16 jets to Ukraine.[2] President Joe Biden has previously said the US will not provide the F-16 fighter jets that Ukraine has sought in its fight against Russia.[2]

Poland has around 28 MiG-29s, which they are in the process of replacing with U.S.-made planes that are more advanced. Furthermore, they have hopes of buying the latest F-35s.[0] In 2018, Slovakia signed an order with the US government for 14 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 jets, which will replace their MiG-29 fleet.[3] The first aircraft is expected to be delivered by next year.[3]

This week, Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine's Defence Minister, asserted that the Ukrainian counteroffensive would be successful if they could pressure the Russian military into a defensive stance, interrupt the enemy's supply chain, and abolish their air dominance.[2] He said the supply of fighter jets would accelerate the liberation of Ukrainian territory.[4] Reznikov stated that the more quickly combat aircraft are acquired, the more lives will be spared.[4]

The Kremlin announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Russia from March 20th to 22nd for a state visit.[5] At the meetings, they will address pertinent topics related to continuing to expand the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China, according to the Kremlin.[6] Several vital bilateral agreements will be inked.[6]

Eduard Heger, the Prime Minister of Estonia, declared that his government is “on the right side of history” when announcing the decision.[7]

0. “Poland will send fighter jets to Ukraine, the first NATO country to do so” MPR News, 16 Mar. 2023,

1. “Kremlin aims to destroy Ukraine jets after Poland and Slovakia pledges” BBC, 17 Mar. 2023,

2. “Ukraine Is Getting MiG-29 Fighter Jets from Poland, Slovakia” TIME, 16 Mar. 2023,

3. “To help Ukraine, UK explores supplying Eurofighter Typhoons to European MiG-29 operators” Breaking Defense, 14 Mar. 2023,

4. “Poland to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine in major escalation of military backing” The Guardian, 17 Mar. 2023,

5. “Ukraine Latest: Poland to Send Soviet-Era Jets; US Drone Video” Yahoo News, 17 Mar. 2023,

6. “Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 387 of the invasion” The Guardian, 17 Mar. 2023,

7. “Ukraine war – latest news: Slovakia to send Kyiv Soviet jets as Xi set to meet Putin” The Independent, 17 Mar. 2023,