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Training F-16 Pilots: Zelenskyy holds talks with Dutch Foreign Minister

Training F-16 Pilots: Zelenskyy holds talks with Dutch Foreign Minister Photo: President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

During a meeting in Kyiv with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Hanke Bruins Slot, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the priority needs of the Armed Forces, according to the official website of the President of Ukraine.

These include training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets and strengthening air defense. The head of state had a "substantial meeting" with the Dutch minister and expressed gratitude to the country for its support of Ukraine.

"We are grateful for the specific and strong decisions of the Netherlands, which helped us on the battlefield, assisted in protecting civilians, and achieved success in providing an alternative humanitarian corridor," Zelenskyy noted.

The president informed the Dutch minister about the current situation on the front and the strategic goals of Ukraine's defenders in repelling full-scale Russian aggression.

The meeting also discussed the priority needs of the Armed Forces, particularly in strengthening air defense, providing additional artillery systems of caliber 155 mm and ammunition, as well as training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets with the support of the Netherlands.

What else was discussed

  • During the meeting between Zelenskyy and the Dutch Foreign Minister, the functioning of the alternative "grain corridor" and its reinforcement were also addressed.

  • Both sides paid special attention to the implementation of the Ukrainian formula for peace, including preparations for the fourth meeting at the level of advisors on security and foreign policy, as well as the Global Peace Summit.

  • Zelenskyy and Bruins Slot discussed further steps regarding the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression by Russia against Ukraine.

  • Attention was also focused on the issue of Ukraine's European integration and preparations for the December session of the European Council.

Netherlands' support for Ukraine

Since the start of the large-scale Russian invasion, the Netherlands has been providing Ukraine with not only military but also economic assistance.

Recently, Amsterdam announced the transfer of a new package of military aid, including demining equipment, ammunition, and drones.

Earlier, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hanke Bruins Slot, stated that the country had announced plans to provide additional assistance of 2.5 billion euros to support Ukraine next year.

F-16s for Ukraine

Recall that Ukraine's allies announced the creation of an aviation coalition to provide the country with modern fighters, including F-16s, led by the Netherlands and Denmark. In total, Ukraine will receive at least 61 aircraft from Denmark and the Netherlands.

According to Politico, Ukrainian pilots have begun flight training on F-16s in the United States, and on October 25, they started flying F-16s. Before that, they trained on simulators and flight simulators that fully replicated the aircraft cabin.

On October 22, Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, reported that Ukrainian pilots would soon transition from flight simulators to actual F-16s, accompanied by instructors.

It should be noted that on November 7, the Netherlands sent the first five F-16 fighters to Romania for the training of Ukrainian pilots, where a special center was opened.

In the Ukrainian Air Force, it is hoped that the first F-16s will likely arrive in Ukraine in the spring of 2024.