Slovakia: US offers attack helicopters for MiG donation

The United States has offered Slovakia the discounted purchase of military helicopters as compensation for Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets promised to Ukraine. This was announced yesterday by Slovakian Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď via Facebook. A decision on whether to accept the offer has not yet been made. The government of the NATO state wants to hand over 13 MiG-29s to Ukraine.

The US offer includes 12 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters with accessories, pilot and technician training, and 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles. Minister Naď promoted the offer, saying the real value was more than one billion US dollars, but Slovakia can buy the package for around 340 million dollars (316 million euros) in installments.

Reactions from other parliamentary parties showed that parts of the opposition were also in favor of accepting the offer. According to the TASR news agency, the social democratic ex-prime minister Peter Pellegrini said the offer was “economically beneficial” and would help to modernize the Slovak air force.

Pellegrini’s Social Democrats, like other opposition parties, had previously criticized the fact that the minority government, which had been in office only on an interim basis since a vote of no confidence was lost in December, had decided to hand over the MiG-29 to Ukraine, bypassing parliament.

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