The Czech Republic will help Slovakia defend its airspace as of September, declared Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. In June, Slovakia asked the Czech Republic for help with its airspace defence until the delivery of its new US F-16 fighter jets. "Of course we will help. I think that this is a beautiful example not only of defence cooperation but also of a high level of trust. We will help Slovakia until the time its new aircraft are at disposal. And we count on someone helping us in times of trouble, too," said Fiala. He added that the aid is also in the Czech Republic's interest, as Slovakia neighbours with Ukraine that is defending itself against the Russian aggression.
"I'm very grateful for the fact that our countries are not only close as it is, but our ties are still improving. You were one of the first who provided us with soldiers, now you are going to defend the airspace," replied Heger, who believes that Slovakia might need aid from the Czech fighter jets for about a year. US F-16s, ordered by the previous government, are slated to arrive to Slovakia in 2024, their delivery falling behind schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide shortage of chips. The new jets are due to replace Russian MiG-29s.