This was announced by the Minister of Defense of Slovakia, Yaroslav Nagy. According to the official, the country cannot provide planes to Ukraine free of charge. These aircraft will be decommissioned from the end of August. Czech and Polish aircraft will take over the protection of Slovakia's airspace from the beginning of September.
Later, Slovakia will receive replacement planes from the USA. On July 25, during the meeting with British counterpart Ben Wallace, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said “we can discuss the future" of his country’s 11 MiG-29 fighter jets after they're grounded “most probably” by the end of August. Nad said providing warplanes to Ukraine would require a broader discussion with allies about the consequences of such a delivery. “But politically, yes, I can tell you there's a positive attitude of helping Ukrainians with Mi-29s." - he emphasized.
Since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, Ukraine has urged Western allies to provide it with warplanes to challenge Russia’s air superiority. However, the U.S. and its allies have been reluctant to give Ukraine the fighter jets it asks for, fearing it would provoke an escalatory response from Moscow, which has warned NATO that supplying Ukraine with combat aircraft could be tantamount to joining the conflict.
Slovakia has signed a deal to buy 14 U.S. F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets to replace its MiG-29s, but the start of their delivery was postponed by two years to 2024.
Slovakia has supplied Ukraine with heavy weapons since the war started. Its donations include a Soviet-era S-300 air defense system, military helicopters and thousands of Grad multiple-rocket launcher rockets. Slovakia also sold Ukraine self-propelled howitzers.