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Zelensky, Dutch PM discuss F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 8, 2023 7:37 PM 1 min read
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 8 he had confirmed the dates when Ukrainian pilots would begin their training to operate F-16 fighter jets during a phone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.    

The date itself was not disclosed.

The European countries taking part in the so-called "fighter jet coalition" set to provide Ukraine with jet fighters and training include the U.K., the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, and France, he said. The U.S. has also joined the coalition.

During a press conference in late May, Rutte said that the Netherlands was "seriously considering" giving F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been campaigning for many months for its Western allies to provide fighter jets to give Ukraine air supremacy over Russia.

Zelensky said the two had also discussed their positions on NATO, ahead of the alliance's summit in Vilnius on July 11.

Rutte said he and Zelensky had discussed "new steps in the relations between NATO and Ukraine," saying he assured the Ukrainian leader of the Netherlands' continued support.    

Zelensky thanked Rutte for the Netherlands' recognition of the Holodomor as genocide.

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