Netherlands sending 200 Stinger missiles to Ukraine; More military aid en route
The Netherlands will deliver 200 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine as soon as possible, the Cabinet said on Saturday. The decision comes after additional requests from Ukraine for military goods. For this request, a careful, but shortened, assessment against the arms export criteria took place, according to a letter sent by Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren to the Tweede Kamer.
In addition to the 200 Stinger missiles, the Netherlands already dispatched the military equipment it committed to providing "for Ukrainian self-defense against an armed attack by Russia," Hoekstra said. Some of that material was already sent, with more to be dispatched as soon as possible.
The cybersecurity assistance the Netherlands planned to provide earlier this week was delayed due to the Russian invasion. The government is still working with Ukrainian authorities to investigate how Dutch cyberdefense teams can be deployed to assist, Hoekstra said.
On Friday, military equipment was on its way from the Netherlands to Ukraine, Ollongren said on the television program Jinek.
The Cabinet previously announced it would supply 100 sniper rifles with associated ammunition, five weapon location radars, two battlefield surveillance radars, metal detectors and two wire-guided detection robots to detect naval mines. It would also send 3,000 combat helmets and 2,000 fragmentation vests, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The delivery was slightly delayed due to Russia’s complete invasion of Ukraine. "We had a different logistical plan, but the attack by the Russians changed that," Ollongren said.
During a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for even more military aid on Friday. The Ministry of Defense was already looking into the request that day, Ollongren said. “We’re going to do our very best to help,” she said.
The Netherlands is also looking into how humanitarian and financial aid can be given to Zelensky's government. More clarity on this should be provided in the coming days.
Dutch fighter jets sent to patrol NATO airspace in Eastern Europe had already completed their first full day Friday, according to the Ministry of Defense.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.