The Dutch government will consider the possibility of supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if Kyiv asks for it. Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra spoke about this during parliamentary debates, NL Times reports.
With a request to supply F16 and infantry fighting vehicles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the government was approached by a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands Sierd Sierdsma. Hoekstra replied that the Netherlands only sends the goods requested by Ukraine. He clarified that the state “has no taboo” on the supply of conventional weapons to Kyiv.
Colonel Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the command of the Ukrainian Air Force, spoke about the need to supply F-16s in November. According to him, the supply of MiG-29 aircraft will not be able to solve the problems that Ukrainian aviation faces today.
“To respond to threats, Ukraine needs multi-role aircraft such as the F-15 and F-16. After all, the enemy openly declares that he plans to continue to hit infrastructure, decision-making centers and the like. To repel this threat, long-range weapons are also needed, both missile and capable of operating from multi-purpose aircraft, ”Ignat noted.
Kyiv declares an urgent need for heavy weapons: the country has long been requesting modern battle tanks from Europe. Poland and Finland are ready to send German Leopard 2 tanks, but they need permission from Germany, which has not yet decided on a decision. Earlier, Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren said the Netherlands was ready to help pay for the Leopard 2 tanks that other countries would send to Ukraine.
“We are waiting for the position of Germany on this matter, but I am in favor of trying to find a solution and send tanks to Ukraine. Each time we have shown that together we are able to provide Ukraine with what it needs, ”the head of the Dutch Ministry of Defense assured.
Pending a decision on modern tanks, the US and the Netherlands have funded the modernization of T-72 tanks for the supply of the Armed Forces. The work will be carried out by the private company Excalibur Army, which is part of the Czech arms engineering holding Czechoslovak Group.
The Netherlands will also send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine. This was announced on January 17 by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Earlier, the authorities of the country announced the allocation of assistance to Kyiv in 2023 for 2.5 billion euros.