Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, told Joe Biden, the United States President, on Tuesday that the Netherlands would suggest passing a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, following the same offers from the USA and Germany.
"I think that it's important we join that, and I discussed it [offering Patriot missiles to Ukraine – ed.] also this morning with Olaf Scholz of Germany," Rutte said, not mentioning how many anti-aircraft systems Ukraine would receive, or the specific time of their arrival.
Earlier, the Bloomberg agency reported that the Dutch government can make a decision concerning sending a Patriot system to Ukraine, joining the US and Germany.
During the meeting with the US President, the Dutch Prime Minister recalled that the Netherlands had decided to spend an additional 2.5 billion euros to support Ukraine. Biden also thanked Rutte for being "very very stalwart" in this regard.
Biden and Rutte are expected to discuss further support to Ukraine, "as well as further cooperation in the fields of defence and security and strengthening of the bilateral trade relationship."
- On 21 December, the USA announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $1.85 billion, which for the first time includes the transfer of the Patriot air defence system.
- Thereafter, Germany also pledged to provide Ukraine with Patriots.
- This week, about a 100 Ukrainian military personnel, who will be trained to operate and maintain Patriot air defence systems, have arrived at a base in Oklahoma. At this stage, 90 to 100 Ukrainian military personnel will be trained; these will be the operators or those who will be engaged in systems’ maintenance. The training will last several months.