Poles, Czechs Vow to Protect Slovak Airspace as MiGs Retired

MALACKY, Slovakia (AP) -- Poland and Czechia signed an agreement Saturday to protect Slovak airspace as Slovakia gives up its old Soviet-made MiG-29 jets.

The protection is to last until Slovakia receives new F-16s from the United States, something expected to happen in 2024.

The agreement was signed at a Slovak airbase by defense ministers Mariusz Blaszczak of Poland, Jana Cernochova of Czechia and Jaroslav Nad of Slovakia.

Slovakia has a fleet of 11 MiG-29 jets, and last month Nad said Slovakia may consider donating them to Ukraine under certain conditions.

Since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Ukraine has urged Western allies to provide it with warplanes to challenge Russia's air superiority.