North Macedonia claims to buy warplanes from Ukraine

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North Macedonia claims to buy warplanes from Ukraine

Local media has claimed that the warplanes were originally bought from Kiev.

Ukraine will receive new military aid from North Macedonia, according to President Vladimir Zelensky's aide Mikhail Podoliak. According to Macedonian media, the planes Skopje plan to give Kiev were bought in the early 2000s from Ukraine.

On Saturday, Podoliak praised North Macedonia on Twitter for giving Ukraine a supportive shoulder in the form of tanks and planes. He said that Skopje showed more courage than half of the G 20. Videos that appeared on social media showed battle tanks loaded with trucks being moved along a road somewhere in North Macedonia. The Defense Ministry said in late July that the videos were authentic and showed the tanks that North Macedonia wanted to donate to Ukraine. The tanks were previously used in an army battalion that was about to be disbanded, the ministry said, adding that the heavy equipment pieces were uncompetitive and could not meet the nation's defense needs anyway.

According to the media, the tanks are Soviet-made T-72 s that Skopje obtained from Russia in 2000 during an internal conflict with local separatist groups. It is not known how many tanks it plans to give Kiev, but the Balkan nation has 31.

In late July the Russian Foreign Ministry called Skopje's decision a big mistake. Skopje responded by saying that North Macedonia is a member of the strongest military-political alliance: NATO, saying that it resolutely supports the position of the US-led bloc.

North Macedonia s MKD news media outlet reported on Thursday that Skopje plans to hand over four Soviet-made Su-25 military aircraft to Kiev. The Defense Ministry hasn't confirmed nor denied this, but it said details of military aid for Ukraine would be declassified and transparently published later.

The planes were purchased from Kiev in 2001, according to MKD. North Macedonia tried to sell them to another nation in 2004 but failed to do so. In 2011, it planned to modernize the four warplanes to make them meet NATO standards, but this didn't happen.