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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Netherlands Pledges Delivery of F-16 Jets to Ukraine


Mon 08 Jul 2024 | 05:37 PM
Israa Farhan

The Netherlands has committed to starting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine "without delay," as Dutch Foreign Minister Caspar Veldkamp announced during his recent visit to Kyiv.

Ukraine hopes that these advanced American aircraft will help it achieve air superiority against Russia and better protect its cities from daily Russian bombardments.

Veldkamp, on his first international visit since taking office, stated that the Netherlands is ready to send the jets to Kyiv after receiving the necessary export licenses last week.

Speaking at a press conference in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday, Veldkamp confirmed the readiness to deliver the jets immediately. The details of his trip to Kyiv were kept secret until Sunday for security reasons.

Veldkamp did not specify the exact date for the arrival of the first batch of 24 F-16 jets in Ukraine. He is part of a new ruling coalition in the Netherlands, with the far-right Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders being its largest member.

Both the new government and Wilders have reaffirmed the Netherlands' support for Ukraine.

Ukraine had requested F-16 fighter jets shortly after the onset of the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Ukrainian pilots and crews have been undergoing months of training in NATO countries to operate these advanced aircraft in preparation for their arrival.

Many NATO countries have pledged to supply Kyiv with these precise, fast, and long-range American jets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated in May that Kyiv needs around 130 aircraft to establish air parity with Russia, although Western nations have promised fewer than 100.

Russia has warned that its forces will target any Western military equipment, including F-16 jets, sent to Kyiv.

Last week, the Russian military claimed it had targeted three Ukrainian airbases within a few days, raising concerns about Kyiv's ability to protect its airfields before the F-16 jets arrive.