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NOS: Netherlands to supply 2 Patriot systems, missiles to Ukraine
The Netherlands will supply the air defense systems to Ukraine, according to a letter from Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren to the Dutch House of Representatives, reported NOS news organization.
The Netherlands will also help in training Ukrainians to work with Patriot systems.
“Thus, the Netherlands, together with its allies, is responding to President Zelensky’s urgent call to provide air defense against ongoing missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities,” the letter says.
During a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 17, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Netherlands would join the U.S. and Germany in sending Patriot air defense missiles to Ukraine.
“I think that it’s important we join that, and I discussed it also this morning with Olaf Scholz of Germany,” Rutte said, as quoted by Reuters.
Patriot systems are the most advanced air defense weapon in the U.S. arsenal that Kyiv has been long pleading for.
The U.S. announced it would supply Patriots to Ukraine at the end of December, ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington, D.C.
The Netherlands is also willing to pay for Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine by other countries, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren told Bloomberg on Jan. 19.
According to Zelensky, Poland, Finland, Portugal, Spain, and some other countries claimed their readiness to provide German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but they need permission for the equipment transfer from Germany.
Berlin has refused to send modern tanks to Ukraine, fearing “escalation.” Germany promised to announce its final decision on the Leopard tanks’ delivery at the 8th summit of Ukraine’s defense partners at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, on Jan. 20.