The Dutch cabinet has agreed to supply 100 sniper rifles, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 3,000 helmets, 2,000 bullet proof vests, and several weapon and mine detection systems to Ukraine.
The decision was taken following a request from Ukraine for military support and the items on the list are in line with EU rules for arms exports, foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Friday.
The decision to export the weapons and protective gear had not been taken lightly, Hoekstra said. ‘We carefully considered the situation within the cabinet and we consider we should do this to help Ukraine defend itself,’ he said.
The total package, valued at €7.4m, is sending a sign that the Netherlands wants to support Ukraine, Hoekstra said.
Asked if sniper rifles can be considered ‘defensive’, Hoekstra said that some weapons can be used offensively but that ‘no-one expects Ukraine to attack Russia’.
Russia’s build-up of troops along the Ukrainian border is ‘the most significant military mobilisation in Europe since the Second World War’, according to the US and White House officials allege that there are now 169,000-190,000 Russian troops in and near Ukraine.
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