Netherlands considering Ukraine’s request for F-16 jets, despite obstacles
F-16 (Photo:Tom Evensen/www.flickr.com)
The Netherlands has received an official request from Ukraine for the supply of F-16 fighter jets, Dutch publication NOS reported on Feb. 10.
“Ukraine submitted a request to the Netherlands for the supply of F-16 fighter jets. This was confirmed by Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren,” the message reads.
Ollongren commented that the request was understandable, but not easy to fulfill.
“We need to discuss the availability of the F-16 with the Americans and other allies (...) And we have to look seriously at the consequences – it can’t just happen overnight. We have to be honest about that,” she said.
She also noted that before the Ukrainian armed forces can use fighter jets, its fighter jet pilots must undergo appropriate training.
In addition, the planes are a U.S. defense system, so Ukraine will be able to get F-16 fighters only with the permission of the United States.
On Jan. 30, U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters that Washington would not provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets.
Later, the White House defended the position of the U.S. president not to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Officials pointed to aid already being sent or announced by the United States, including Abrams tanks.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov later stated that every weapon supplied to Ukraine went through the rejection stage.
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that he supports the transfer of F-16s to Kyiv if the NATO allies take the step collectively.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that some European partners of Ukraine have already “taken up” the issue of fighter jets.
As early as Jan. 20 Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said his country would consider the possibility of providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets – if Kyiv makes a corresponding request.
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