The United States has approved the Netherlands and Demark’s plan to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine once Ukrainian pilots’ training is complete. According to a U.S. government official, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has informed the two countries by letter.
The Netherlands and Denmark provide training for Ukrainian pilots. It may be another year before the F-16s actually go to the country. On Friday, it was announced that the first Ukrainian pilots will probably only complete their training in the summer of next year.
The F-16s are a complicated system, and it will take time to learn to operate them well enough to use them in the fight against the Russian invaders, the Commander of the Dutch Armed Forces said shortly before training started in the summer.
Outgoing Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs said on X, formerly Twitter, that he welcomes Washington’s decision. “Now, we will discuss the subject further with our European partners.”
Ukraine has been asking the Netherlands and other countries to provide it with F-16 fighter jets for the war against Russia for months. The Netherlands and Denmark agreed but first had to get the U.S.’s permission because the jets are American-made.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times