Dutch soldiers may join special Nato mission, defence minister confirms

Dutch soldiers may join a special Nato rapid reaction force in light of the situation in Ukraine, defence minister Jeanine Hennis confirmed on Monday, Nos television reports.

The Financial Times said at the weekend the Netherlands is to join Britain, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia and Norway in forming a 10,000-strong Nato-led mission to try to top Russia redrawing its borders

Nato already has a rapid reaction force capable of reaching anywhere in the world within five days, but this is not quick enough to deal with the situation in Ukraine, Nos says.

A decision on deployment is likely to be taken this week at the Nato summit in Wales.


The Netherlands is also to deploy some 100 soldiers to Afghanistan as part of a new Nato mission there to train local police officers in the north of the country.

Hennis told MPs on Monday the Dutch soldiers will focus on training senior police officers and advising local army chiefs on security issues.

Dutch soldiers are currently active in Mali, on the Turkish border with Syria and in the anti-piracy campaign off the Somali coast. Ministers confirmed last week the Netherlands will end its contribution to Nato’s Patriot anti-ballistic missile defence system in Turkey at the end of January.

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