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UK and Netherlands to lead "fighter jet coalition" to provide Ukraine with F-16s

Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 22:51
UK and Netherlands to lead fighter jet coalition to provide Ukraine with F-16s
Photo: Getty Images

Following a meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik, the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands agreed to facilitate the creation of an international coalition to strengthen Ukraine's air defence.

According to a statement from Downing Street, Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte agreed to "work to build an international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air forces and means, supporting everything from training to the purchase of F-16 fighter jets".

Source: UK PM’s statement shared on Tuesday, reported by European Pravda


Details: The UK prime minister has also stressed that Ukraine should become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance and discussed with his Dutch counterpart the provision of long-term security assistance to Kyiv "to ensure that they [Ukrainians – ed.] can deter future attacks".

Background: In his Tuesday evening speech, President Zelenskyy also announced that the UK and the Netherlands, as well as France, had joined the so-called coalition of fighter jets. "A good start to the coalition! Thank you all!" Zelenskyy said, without giving any further details.

On 15 May, it became known that the UK had agreed to start training Ukrainian pilots in the summer and was already working with other countries on the possible provision of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. 

In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron, after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that the door was "open" for training pilots from Ukraine, without specifying any details.

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