The Netherlands will send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine "without delay," announced Foreign Minister Caspar Veldkamp during a weekend visit to Kyiv.

On his first international trip since taking office last week, Veldkamp confirmed that the Netherlands is ready to dispatch the jets following the approval of export licenses last week.

"With clearance for the first F-16s, they will be delivered without delay," Veldkamp said in a Saturday press conference in Kyiv.

For security reasons, the visit details were kept confidential until Sunday. While Veldkamp did not specify a delivery date, the Netherlands has committed to sending 24 F-16s.

Veldkamp represents a new ruling coalition in which the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) led by Geert Wilders is the largest party. After months of negotiations, the new government and Wilders have reaffirmed their support for Ukraine.


Ukraine requested F-16s shortly after Russia's February 2022 invasion. Ukrainian pilots and crews have been training on these jets in NATO countries in anticipation of their arrival.

Several NATO countries have pledged to send F-16s, which are known for their precision, speed, and range.

President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned in a May interview that Kyiv requires approximately 130 jets to attain air parity with Russia, but Western countries have committed to sending fewer than 100.

Russia has warned that it will target any Western military equipment, including F-16s, sent to Ukraine. Last week, Russia claimed to have struck three Ukrainian air bases in three days, raising concerns about Kyiv's ability to protect its airfields ahead of the jets' arrival.

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