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F-16 for Ukraine. Netherlands tells when and how many planes Ukraine will receive

F-16 for Ukraine. Netherlands tells when and how many planes Ukraine will receive Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren (photo: Getty Images)

The Netherlands plans to provide Ukraine with more than 20 F-16 fighter jets. The first deliveries are to begin this year, states Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

"In total, we are going to transfer 24 F-16 fighters. They will be handed over to Ukraine as soon as everything is ready. This moment depends on the training of Ukrainian pilots and technical staff, as well as, of course, on the infrastructure," the Dutch minister said.

According to her, the transfer of fighter jets to the Ukrainian military is a joint effort with Denmark, the United States, Ukraine and other countries.

"It is difficult, it is complicated, but it will happen. Our coalition hopes that this summer we will be able to start delivering F-16s, first Danish and then Dutch," Ollongren added.

In addition, the Dutch minister commented on rumors that she and Prime Minister Mark Rutte had personally asked the United States to help Ukraine with F-16s.

"Let's just say we have discussed all the possibilities with our partners and friends. I think it is important that we, together with the United States and Denmark, were able to make this decision. Since then, we have been working very hard to ensure its implementation," she summarized.

F-16s for Ukraine

Last year, Denmark and the Netherlands promised to provide Ukraine with several dozen F-16 fighters. However, in order to receive the fighter jets, Ukraine had to first train pilots and maintenance personnel, as well as prepare the necessary infrastructure on Ukrainian territory.

According to the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Illia Yevlash, the arrival of F-16s in Ukraine will be a surprise for the enemy. Today, two groups of Ukrainian pilots are in the final stages of training.

At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that F-16s, like any weapon, would not be a "silver bullet" in Ukraine's war with Russia. But, according to him, these fighters will be important on the battlefield.