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The Netherlands is preparing the first 18 F-16 fighters to be sent to Ukraine: Zelenskyy told about the conversation with Rutte

Rutte spoke about preparations for the delivery of the first batch of F-16 fighters

On the morning of December 22, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation. During the conversation, the head of the Dutch government announced that the first 18 F-16 fighter jets were being prepared for delivery to Ukraine.

Rutte also assured the President of Ukraine of the Netherlands' full support for Ukraine's accession to the European Union. Details were provided by Rutte and Zelenskyy.

According to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, he had a telephone conversation with Zelenskyy on the morning of December 22.

"Today, I also informed President Zelenskyy about our government's decision to prepare the first 18 F-16 fighter jets for delivery to Ukraine. The delivery of F-16s is one of the most important elements of the military support arrangements for Ukraine. In addition to the export authorization, a number of other criteria, including personnel and infrastructure requirements, must be met before delivery. This decision confirms the Netherlands' continued commitment to providing Ukraine with the support it needs to respond to Russia's ongoing aggression," Rutte emphasized.

The Netherlands is preparing the first 18 F-16 fighters to be sent to Ukraine: Zelenskyy told about the conversation with Rutte

He also reiterated the readiness of the Netherlands to support Ukraine not only in countering Russian aggression, but also in its movement towards full membership in the EU.

"Last week we discussed the important decision of the European Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine. I am impressed with Ukraine's progress and the Netherlands stands ready to assist Ukraine as it continues to work on the reforms required by the accession process. I have also assured President Zelensky that the Netherlands will make every effort to reach an agreement at the European Council meeting in February 2024 on EU financial support," the Dutch Prime Minister emphasized.

Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine thanked the Dutch government for the decision to start preparing the first F-16 fighters for Ukraine.

"I also thanked the Netherlands for their active support of the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU and emphasized the importance of providing our country with long-term assistance from the EU in the amount of 50 billion euros as soon as possible. We discussed the developments at the front, the situation in the Black Sea and Ukraine's current military needs, including artillery, drones and air defense," Zelenskyy outlined the range of topics discussed.

He noted that he and the Dutch Prime Minister had agreed to "continue working together on security guarantees in accordance with the G7 Vilnius Declaration."

In addition, the parties discussed the next meeting of advisers on the Peace Formula and efforts to further consolidate international support for Ukraine's vision of a just peace.

Earlier it was reported that the Netherlands would increase military aid to Ukraine by EUR 2.7 billion.

"This assistance should fully meet the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ammunition, as well as equip air defense systems and other installations that were provided to Kyiv earlier. The Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine, no matter what it costs and how long it takes," said Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot in this regard.

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