Minister, you recently declared it "highly probable" that ten Slovak Air Force MiG-29 fighter jets, which will be decommissioned at the end of August, will go to Ukraine.

Will Slovakia soon be the first country to supply fighter jets?

Nicholas Zimmerman

Editor in Politics.

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We are handing over the protection of our airspace to Poland and the Czech Republic on September 1st.

From that point forward, we will discuss the future of the aircraft - including a possible delivery to Ukraine.

The ten MiG-29s that we are decommissioning are worth around 300 million euros and we will try to sell them.

The option of donating the planes to Ukraine in September is currently not on the table.

We want to find a solution with our allies.

Poland had already offered MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in March, but was called back by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.

Could Slovakia also be slowed down?

A lot has changed since March.

In addition, it is a sovereign decision of the individual states what they want to do with their fighter jets.

We talk to our partners about everything.

So far we have not received any negative reaction about a possible delivery of aircraft.

In case you deliver the Slovak MiGs to Ukraine, would you have a problem if the Ukrainian Air Force used them to attack targets on Russian territory?

We will not take responsibility for any possible use of the equipment we supply to Ukraine.

After she leaves our territory, it is entirely up to Ukrainians what to do with her.

Could Slovakia become a target of Russian attacks after delivery of fighter jets?

Ukraine is the target of Russian attacks.

The United Nations Charter allows states to help other states under attack.

Any arms shipments are covered by international law.

I'm not afraid.

Just as we found a solution to hand over our S-300 anti-aircraft defense system to Ukraine, I am sure that after the settlement of compensation we will find a solution for combat aircraft.

How do you intend to protect Slovakian airspace until you get American F-16 fighter jets in 2024?

We have agreed with the Czech Republic and Poland that they will take over air policing duties from September 1st.

Slovak airspace will continue to be defended, just not by our own, but by Polish and Czech aircraft.

Ever since we joined NATO, it has been the collective task of the Alliance to patrol member states' airspace.

You recently reached an agreement with Germany to supply 15 Leopard main battle tanks so that Slovakia can in turn supply tanks to Ukraine.

Why did the negotiations take so long?

I don't think they lasted too long.

We had a lot of things to sort out, including with the Ukrainians.

They came to visit us to inspect the 30 BVP armored personnel carriers that we are supplying.

And a Slovak delegation was in Germany to inspect the Leopard 2A4 tanks that we are taking over.

It all takes time, and legal issues also had to be clarified.

I am very grateful to the German government that we have found a solution for this type of "ring exchange" that is in the interest of everyone involved.

They get fewer Leopard tanks from Germany than they wanted.

Is that the reason why you are supplying 30 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine and not the 30 T-72 main battle tanks as initially announced?