The Netherlands has said that once certain “prerequisites” have been fulfilled then they will receive the F-16 fighter jets, which realistically will be “next year.”
The Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said of the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine will be within six to eight months to be “realistic.”
Ollongren said in an interview with the Yevropeiska Pravda (European Truth) online publication said, “The training of aviators has already begun, but we need to increase it so that you have enough trained personnel for the combat use of F-16 fighters.
“It is also important to resolve the issue of infrastructure, so here in Ukraine, you are simultaneously working on creating the proper infrastructure for this modern aircraft and a very advanced weapons system for it.”
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The Dutch Minister expressed doubt that the transfer is possible this year. “On the part of the Netherlands, we need all the prerequisites to be fulfilled first.
“Namely, so that the crews are trained, so that we understand that the infrastructure is ready, and also so that we have not only aircraft, but also spare parts, the necessary weapons for them and the like.
“Taking this into account, we are realistically counting on next year.”
Ollongren added that the exact conditions for the transfer of aircraft are still being discussed, she said, “We have not yet decided on the exact conditions, and it depends not only on us.
“This is also an issue where the United States has an important voice. And where the voice of Ukraine also matters.”
Speaking of Ukraine using the F-16 fighter jets to return Crimea, she said, “Our position is unambiguous: We have never recognised the annexation of Crimea.
“We support your right to self-defense. We support your territorial integrity, recognised by many countries of the world.”
She also stressed, “When we provide Ukraine with aircraft and weapons systems, we do it knowing that you use them for self-defense and that you respect the rules of warfare that apply to both you and us.
“And as long as it’s about using a weapon for self–defense, you have the right to use it as effectively as you can.”