Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid a lightning visit to the Netherlands on Sunday to discuss the handover of a number of Dutch F-16 fighter jets to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Earlier this week, the US gave the green light to the Netherlands and Denmark to give their excess planes to Ukraine. It is the first time western countries have pledged to hand over modern fighter jets.
Prime minister Mark Rutte on Sunday confirmed that the Netherlands will send fighter planes to Ukraine although it is unclear as yet how many of the 42 owned by the Netherlands will go.
“We need some for training in Denmark and later in Romania,” Rutte said during a press conference at the Eindhoven air base. “Of course we are going to see if we can supply the rest or if things have to be done to ready them. So I cannot give an exact number.”
It will be at least six months, probably longer, before the jets can be delivered and Ukrainian pilots are currently being trained to use them.
Zelenskyy headed for Denmark after he left the Netherlands. Denmark is expected to provide 19 F-16s to the Ukrainian armed forces, broadcaster NOS said.
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