The Netherlands has formally decided to send 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, after earlier making them available to train Ukrainian pilots in Romania.
Caretaker defence minister Kasja Ollongren confirmed that the planes would be handed over on Friday.
The number was dependent on the capacity the Dutch airforce needed to protect its own airspace and Nato territory, she is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS. The airforce is in the process of switching to F-35s, and “eventually we won’t fly with F-16s anymore anyway,” she said.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said decision confirms the Netherlands’ commitment to Ukraine in the face of “continuing Russian aggression”. A few hurdles, such as an export licence, still have to be overcome, he said on social media.
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