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Zelenskyy: Netherlands already prepares first 18 F-16 aircraft for delivery to Ukraine

He thanked Prime Minister Rutte for his support.

Zelenskyy: Netherlands already prepares first 18 F-16 aircraft for delivery to Ukraine
Photo: Ukrainian presidential office

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a phone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. He thanked the Netherlands for its active position on the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union and stressed the importance of allocating €50 billion in long-term EU assistance as soon as possible.

"This decision will not only help strengthen our defence and macroeconomic stability, it will demonstrate the inviolability of EU support and may become a driver for similar decisions by our other partners," Zelenskyy said.

The parties discussed the situation at the frontline and in the Black Sea, as well as Ukraine's current defence needs, in particular in artillery, drones and air defence.

Zelenskyy thanked the Dutch government for the decision to prepare the first 18 F-16 fighter jets for delivery to Ukraine.

The leaders agreed to continue working on bilateral security guarantees within the framework of the G7 Vilnius Declaration. They also discussed the next meeting at the level of advisers to the leaders of states on the implementation of the Peace Formula and efforts to further consolidate the support of the world around Ukraine's vision of a just peace.

Rutte, for his part, noted that a number of criteria must be met for the delivery to take place.

"Today, I also informed President Zelenskyy about our government's decision to prepare an initial 18 F-16 fighter aircraft for delivery to Ukraine. The delivery of F-16s is one of the most important elements of the agreements made on military support for Ukraine," Rutte tweeted.

He added that in addition to the export permit, a number of other criteria must be met for the delivery, including personnel and infrastructure requirements.

"This decision confirms the Netherlands' undiminished commitment to providing Ukraine with the support it needs to respond to the ongoing Russian aggression," Rutte said.

He added that the parties discussed the decision of the European Council to start negotiations with Ukraine on EU accession.

"I'm impressed with Ukraine's progress so far, and the Netherlands stands ready to help Ukraine as it continues to work on the reforms that the accession process requires. I also assured President Zelenskyy that the Netherlands will make every effort to ensure agreement is reached at the European Council meeting in February 2024 on financial support from the EU," Rutte said.

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