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MoD of Netherlands reveals when Ukraine to receive F-16 fighter jets

MoD of Netherlands reveals when Ukraine to receive F-16 fighter jets Kaisa Ollongren (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine will receive F-16 fighter jets as early as next year, while the Netherlands is currently training Ukrainian pilots, according to the statement of the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands, Kajsa Ollongren.

"We don't know how long this will take, to do this training, so we estimate from six to eight months, which is really, really very fast if you compare it to the trainings we do with our pilots," the statement reads.

She also mentions that this depends on various factors. Additionally, the Netherlands is working on setting up a training center in Romania, which is planned to be launched as soon as possible.

"The delivery of the jets (to Ukraine -Ed.) will be starting sometime next year," the Minister stated.

The Minister explains why the aircraft deliveries are taking this long

"And it's also for us an important capability: we are transitioning to the F-35, and that's the reason we can deliver the F-16s, once we've done the transition. The same goes for Norway and Denmark. These things do take time," Ollongren said.

She also notes that the most important thing is the signal the Netherlands sends, not only to Kyiv but also to Moscow and the Kremlin.

"We will be behind the Ukrainians as long as it takes, we'll provide them with weapons and ammunition, and we will work on strengthening their Armed Forces also after the war. Russia is not going anywhere," the Minister added.

That's why they need to be defeated first, and then Ukraine must be safe as an important partner.

"Fatigue" from the war in Ukraine

Ollongren says that the Netherlands is aware of the statements (about reducing assistance to Ukraine - Ed.), and it concerns them.

"I think we all must be aware of the fact that the Russians have to be stopped in Ukraine, is not just any regional conflict between Ukraine and Russia, it is Russia, a nuclear power. This is an ally of China, so it is something that concerns all of us in Europe, but also here in the United States," the Minister added.

She adds that Ukraine cannot wage this war without the support of Western countries, and if they stop supplying weapons and financing, then Ukraine should cease hostilities.

Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to maintain unity and continue to find budgets, weapons, and ammunition to support Ukraine as much as necessary.

F-16s for Ukraine

Several European countries, as part of the aviation coalition, have agreed to provide training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. It was also recently revealed that the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway have agreed to provide Ukraine with at least 61 fighter jets.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ukrainian and Western officials expect Ukrainian pilots to start conducting combat missions on Western F-16 fighter jets as early as this winter.

Meanwhile, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, his country is also considering the possibility of transferring its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.