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Dutch Ministry of Defense confident Ukraine will receive F-16s this year

Dutch Ministry of Defense confident Ukraine will receive F-16s this year Photo: Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Netherlands is confident that it will be able to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this year. But there is no exact date for the delivery, according to Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

She made the statement after arriving at an informal meeting of European Union defense ministers in Brussels today, January 31.

"We are really working hard on that. The Ukrainians are working hard on that. It will happen this year. I am sure about that," the minister said, commenting on the timing of the F-16 delivery to Ukraine.

She did not specify when exactly the fighter jets would be handed over.

"I can't give a specific time and date right now," Ollongren added.

F-16 for Ukraine

Earlier, Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to provide Ukraine with modern F-16 fighters. The coalition was led by the Netherlands and Denmark.

Recently, it was officially announced that the first group of Ukrainian pilots had completed the basic training program in the UK and began training on F-16s in Denmark.

At the end of December, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Dutch government had decided to prepare the first 18 F-16s for delivery to Ukraine.

The Pentagon said that Ukraine would be able to receive the first F-16s this year. The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, emphasized that the partners are ready to hand over the aircraft to Ukraine, but that preparatory work needs to be completed.