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Netherlands and Denmark to give Ukraine advanced F16 aircraft
21 August 2023
The Netherlands and Denmark announced Sunday they will give F-16 warplanes to Ukraine, a long-awaited announcement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called an important motivation for his country’s forces, as they continue to repell Russian aggression.
After months of entreaties from Zelensky for F-16s to bolster the Ukrainian air force, the US recently gave approval for the Netherlands and Denmark to provide Ukraine the American-made jets. Zelensky traveled to both countries Sunday to finalize the delivery deals.’’F-16s will certainly give new energy, confidence, and motivation to fighters and civilians. I’m sure it will deliver new results for Ukraine and the entire Europe,″ the Ukrainian leader said.
Ukraine hopes the jets will give it a combat edge, after launching a counteroffensive against the Kremlin’s forces without air cover from Western aircraft, placing its troops at the mercy of Russian aviation and artillery.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte welcomed Zelensky to the Netherlands on Sunday. The two leaders inspected two gray F-16s parked in a hangar at a Dutch base in the southern city of Eindhoven. A few hours later, Zelensky and his wife were received by Danish prime minister Frederiksen, other Danish Cabinet ministers and Crown Princess Mary at the Skrydstrup air base in southern Denmark where Ukrainian pilots will receive F-16 training in coming months. The two leaders climbed into a Danish F-16 and tried out the seats.