Friday 03 February 2023

The Netherlands is open to help paying for Leopard tanks for Ukraine

A Leopard tank. Photo: MatthiasKabel via Wikimedia Commons

The Netherlands is open to paying for Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine together with its European and Nato allies, Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren has told news agency Bloomberg in an interview.

The Netherlands paid earlier towards sending tanks from the Czech Republic to Ukraine and the approach could be similar for the German-made Leopard tanks, she told the news agency in an interview from Davos, Switzerland.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier this week he was in talks with allies about such a contribution.

‘We are all waiting to hear what the German position is on this, but I’m an advocate to trying to find a solution and trying to send tanks to Ukraine,’ Ollongren said.

A number of defence ministers, including Ollongren, are meeting on Friday in Germany to discuss providing more military help.

Other weapons

RTL Nieuws reports that finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has also hinted that the Netherlands may be willing to send F-16s to Ukraine.

Should Ukraine ask, the Netherlands will look at the request with an ‘open mind’, RTL quotes Hoekstra as saying at a debate on Thursday evening.  There are ‘no taboos’, Hoekstra said.

Military experts fear Russia may be preparing to launch a major offensive against Ukraine in the coming months.

‘Supplying this type of tank was unthinkable three months ago,’ George Dimitriu of the Clingendael institute told broadcaster NOS. ‘Yet the West is being criticised for proving enough support for Ukraine not to lose, but not enough to win.’

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