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Following Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte committed F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine’s military effort against Russia. According to Bloomberg, Mark Rutte stated that the planes will be supplied to Ukraine pilots who have been trained for the aircraft.
The news comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave Denmark and the Netherlands the go-ahead to send their F-16s fighter jets to Ukraine. Mark Rutte, the Netherlands’ longest-serving prime minister, stated that nothing will change and that the Hague’s attitude toward Ukraine and the caretaker cabinet will continue to back Ukraine’s military action.
Ukraine New Fighter Jets
The Netherlands currently has 42 F-16 jets, 24 of which are in use and cannot be transferred to Ukraine until at least 2024. Denmark has not said when it intends to deliver the fighter jets, although rumours indicate that the country intends to keep its 30 jets until 2024. Denmark has bought 27 new Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Ukraine pilots are now undergoing training in the Netherlands and Denmark; officials estimate that the training will take 6 to 8 months to complete. “This is yet another step towards strengthening Ukraine’s air shield,” stated Ukraine’s President.
NATO continues to support war-torn Ukraine
NATO partners have maintained their support for war-torn Ukraine, with Germany declaring that it will pay $5.4 billion in help to Kyiv per year. Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated that the Netherlands will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine for as long as necessary.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Sweden on Saturday to begin a new round of negotiations about providing weaponry equipment like fighter jets to Ukraine in order to strengthen its defences against Russian invading forces. The weapon assistance can greatly help a slow-moving attack to reclaim land seized by Russia.