In a renewed effort to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian invasion, the Netherlands is set to deliver 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, thus strengthening European nations support for the besieged nation.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced through the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that the Dutch government will deliver 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, reports REUTERS.
“Today I informed President Zelenskiy of our government’s decision to prepare an initial 18 F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine. The delivery of F-16s is one of the most important elements of the agreements made on military support to Ukraine.”
However, the delivery of the aircrafts is still subject to the export permit by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the fulfillment of criteria for staff and infrastructure in Ukraine.
The government further stated that the announcement made it possible to reserve funds and people to prepare the planes for delivery.
In November, The Netherlands sent its first U.S. made F-16s to a new training facility for Ukrainian pilots and staff in Romania.
Responding to the gesture, President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said “I spoke with Mark Rutte to thank the Dutch government for its decision to start preparing the initial 18 F-16 jets for delivery to Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, Denmark, Norway and Belgium have also announced they will give F-16 jets to Ukraine, after the U.S. government approved sending them to defend against Russia as soon as pilot training is completed.