THE HAGUE: The Netherlands on Friday announced that it was preparing the delivery of 18 US made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, who at the moment is fighting war with Russia.
Denmark and the Netherlands, with the US approval in August announced that they would provide up to 61 jets to Ukraine once its pilots had been trained to fly the aircraft.
The Dutch government on Friday said the jets will require further testing before they can be delivered while an approval is also required for re-exports of military equipment to Ukraine.
The Dutch defense minister in a statement said that President Volodymyr Zelensky has been informed about their decision to prepare an initial 18 F-16 fighter aircraft delivery to Ukraine. However, he did not provide exact delivery date.
According to a statement an export permit, a number of other criteria must also be met before delivery of the aircrafts including requirements for personnel and infrastructure.
Decision demonstrates the Netherlands’ undiminished support to Kyiv
Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said the decision demonstrates the Netherlands’ undiminished commitment to providing Kyiv with the support it needs during war with Russia.
Meanwhile Zelensky said that he spoke to Rutte and thanked him for the military assistance.
He added during the conversation the two sides discussed frontline developments, the situation in the Black Sea and Ukraine’s current military needs.
The Netherlands last month sent five F-16s to Romania, where they are used to train Ukrainian pilots.
Earlier, Ukrainian President said he was confident that the US a strong ally would not betray his nation by withholding crucial wartime assistance as it fights a war with Russia.
Financial assistance for Ukraine has been held up by Republicans in the US Congress, and the White House has warned that it will be consumed by the end of the year if not renewed.