Netherlands would consider helping Ukraine with F-16 fighters, Leopard 2 tanks
The Dutch Cabinet will look into supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if the Kyiv government asks for it. During a parliamentary debate on Thursday, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs said the Cabinet would look at such a request with an “open mind.” In Davos, Minister Kajsa Ollongren of Defense also said that the Netherlands is willing to help pay for modern Leopard 2 tanks that other countries send to Ukraine. “That is certainly something we are willing to do,” she told Bloomberg.
Hoekstra said there are “no taboos” for the delivery of regular equipment. Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66) asked the Cabinet to supply F16s and infantry fighting vehicles to the Ukrainian armed forces. Many fear that Russia will launch another major offensive in the coming months.
According to Hoekstra, the Netherlands only sends items that Ukraine asks for. Kyiv currently mainly needs heavy weapons. The country has been asking for modern battle tanks for some time. Poland and Finland want to send the German Leopard 2 tanks, but they need permission from Germany.
Berlin is dithering. The German government is under intense pressure to allow these tanks to go to Ukraine. The Netherlands is willing to help pay to get the tanks in Ukraine, Ollongern said in Davos, but the delivery must take place within a European or NATO coalition.
“We are waiting for Germany’s position on this, but I am in favor of trying to find a solution and sending tanks to Ukraine,” Ollongren told Bloomberg. “Every time, we have shown that we are able, together, to provide Ukraine with what they need.”
Difficult events of the last days make us speak frankly about what weapons we need to end war in victory. Discussed this issue together with the Defense Minister of 🇳🇱 @KajsaOllongren. I expressed my gratitude to her for treating more than 60 🇺🇦 military and helping our museums. pic.twitter.com/CTPP7jhJeq— Олена Зеленська (@ZelenskaUA) January 19, 2023