Poland is to send Ukraine four MiG-29 fighter jets in the coming days, it has been announced, with more to follow later.
“Firstly, literally within the next few days, we will hand over, as far as I remember, four aircraft to Ukraine in full working order,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Thursday.
“The rest are being prepared, serviced.”
It makes Poland the first NATO member country to fulfil the Ukrainian government’s increasingly urgent requests for warplanes.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly said his country needs jets to effectively fight back against Russia’s invasion.
Western nations remain unwilling to provide Ukraine with fighter jets, despite the clear advantage they would bring, because of a lingering fear that it will precipitate a widening of the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.
President Duda did not say if other countries would be making the same move, although Slovakia has said it would send its disused MiGs to Ukraine.
Poland has been among the most active allies pushing for more arms to be supplied to Ukraine.
It will hand over four older Soviet-era MiG-29s to begin with. The rest need to be checked and would be supplied later.
President Duda has previously told Sky News Ukraine will need “modern planes, fighter jets in the future” to see off Russian aggression.