Bulgaria ready to send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine — but with some conditions

11 April, 12:25 PM
Bulgaria has six operational MiG-29 aircraft (Photo:REUTERS/Lukasz Glowala)

Bulgaria has six operational MiG-29 aircraft (Photo:REUTERS/Lukasz Glowala)

Bulgaria's Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it has held talks on a so-called "triangular deal" to supply its old MiG-29s to Ukraine in return for more modern fighter jets, news agency Interfax-Ukraine reported on April 11.

Bulgaria has said it could agree to replace Ukraine’s MiG-29s with some of its own modernized ones — although not for free. The country has 16 of such aircraft, although only six of them are airworthy.

In it does so, Bulgaria could remain without aircraft for a year-and-half or even more, as the United States is expected to supply it will F-16s no earlier than 2025, Interfax-Ukraine wrote.

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Slovakia became the first NATO member to  openly supply Ukraine with fighter jets after it sent four Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Kyiv on March 23. They are already defending the skies above Kharkiv, Deputy Parliament Speaker Olena Kondratiuk has said.

Modernized Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets would be of considerable aid to Ukraine. However, they wouldn't be a game changer at the front line as they lack on-board radar and can't launch modern missiles, the Ukrainian Air Force has said. Ukraine needs modern, multi-role fighter jets, the Ukrainian military has repeatedly stressed to its allies.

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced recently that his country had sent four more MiG-29s to Ukraine.

In total, Kyiv has received eight such aircraft from Warsaw.

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