NATO nation gives timeline for F-16 deliveries to Ukraine — RT World News

Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren said the first batch of combat aircraft will arrive from Denmark this summer

Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren said the West will deliver the first batch of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine over the next few months, with more to come later this year.

Denmark will be the first Western country to supply Ukraine with advanced aircraft, and the Netherlands will soon follow, the Defense Minister revealed in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, at the conclusion of her visit to Kiev.

“I'm very confident that we will start delivering F-16s this summer… Denmark first, and we have a timeline… So in the second half of the year, the Dutch F-16s will go like this,” he said. Ollongren said, without providing details on the number of aircraft that will be included in the first shipments.

She added that it will not be easy for the West to provide Ukraine with all the aid it needs, as the United States is striving to approve the aid package presented by President Joe Biden, which allocates $60 billion to Kiev. Republican lawmakers opposed the move, demanding that the White House do more to strengthen US border security.

Ollongren also called for increased ammunition production in the European Union amid Ukraine's complaints that it is suffering from a shortage of ammunition.

He added: “We have to be realistic and think about the possibility that it will be a long war, and it is better to plan for a long war.” She said.

Western countries announced an international coalition to help Ukraine purchase American-designed F-16 aircraft and train their pilots last year, with plans to supply Kiev with more than 40 aircraft.

Denmark pledged to send 19 aircraft of this type to Kiev. The Netherlands initially promised 18, but later increased the number by six.

Media reports indicate that Norway could send between five to ten F-16 aircraft to Kiev, with Belgium pledging to support Ukraine with an undisclosed number.

However, Ukrainian officials have warned that the country may face infrastructure difficulties in maintaining the US-designed aircraft. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in November that while the F-16s would certainly add to Ukraine's capabilities, they would not. “silver bullet” To radically change the situation on the battlefield.

Russia has warned the West that arms shipments to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict without changing the final outcome. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said there would be F-16s “legitimate goals” For the Russian military, adding that the shipments would only increase the risk of a direct clash between Moscow and NATO.

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