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Bloomberg: Netherlands likely to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets
The Netherlands will likely send an unspecified number of its 42 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on May 26 with reference to its unnamed sources.
This transfer should follow the training of Ukrainian pilots, according to the report.
On the same day, Ukraine's Defense Ministry tweeted it requires four squadrons of F-16s – 48 planes in total – to liberate its territory from Russia.
According to Bloomberg, 24 Dutch fighters are currently in use by the country's military and cannot be sent to Ukraine until mid-2024.
The U.K. and the Netherlands agreed on May 17 to build an international coalition to provide F-16s to Ukraine. On May 20, the U.S. also declared that it would join the initiative, as did Portugal, Denmark, and Belgium.
Reports appeared on May 20 that the Netherlands canceled the sale of its F-16s to the private company Draken International.
This sparked speculation that Amsterdam plans to reroute the planes to Ukraine’s military instead.
Ukraine has been campaigning for months for its Western allies to provide more advanced fighter jets to gain air supremacy over Russia.
On May 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the first F-16 fighter jet delivered to Ukraine "will be one of the strongest signals from the world" that Russia is "only becoming weaker and more isolated."
So far, Ukraine has received 14 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland and 13 from Slovakia.