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Ultra-right victory in Netherlands: Expert assesses F-16s transfer threat to Ukraine

Ultra-right victory in Netherlands: Expert assesses F-16s transfer threat to Ukraine Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)

The Netherlands may refrain from transferring F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, but only if such a decision is supported by the ruling coalition, which has not yet been formed, mentions Ukrainian political scientist Volodymyr Fesenko in a comment to RBC-Ukraine.

He suggests that the rise of the far-right Party for Freedom to power in the Netherlands could potentially affect military assistance to Ukraine. This might lead to a reduction or refusal of the transfer on grant terms in favor of arms sales, akin to Slovakia's attempts.

Fesenko acknowledges this as a potential issue but not the worst-case scenario for Ukraine.

"Again, the position against F-16s is included in the party program. However, after forming a coalition, the situation will be completely different. Whether this norm will remain or not is a big question. If it stays, the Netherlands may stop supplying, but there are other possibilities to acquire equipment from other countries," explains the political analyst.

According to Fesenko, the main danger for Ukraine lies in the party's intention to block the European Union's expansion, not only for Ukraine but for all other candidate countries.

"I believe Dutch political elites will pressure to find a compromise and a solution. In other words, an additional risk for us. The extent of this risk, how long-lasting or temporary it might be, depends on the situation in the Netherlands, the programmatic principles of the future coalition, and the EU's position," he added.

He emphasizes that in light of these events, the EU should hasten internal reforms—abandoning the consensus principle when making individual decisions—or else the bloc might find itself in a deadlock.

It's worth noting that the Party for Freedom cannot unilaterally implement such policies despite winning elections. Forming a coalition is necessary.

Currently, it remains unknown whether the party will join the ruling coalition.

Elections in the Netherlands

Elections in the Netherlands resulted in a victory for the far-right Party for Freedom. They oppose supplying arms to Ukraine. The country recently pledged to transfer 42 F-16 fighters to Ukraine, but this supply is now in jeopardy.

For a more detailed understanding of the consequences of this event for Ukraine, you can read RBC-Ukraine's material.