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Dutch FM reports no progress yet on fighter jet coalition

Dutch FM reports no progress yet on fighter jet coalition

In an update from Reuters, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced on Wednesday that there has been no advancement in the international discussion regarding the potential supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Hoekstra, responding to queries about previous talks with the UK, Denmark, Belgium, and other partners about the possible provision of F-16’s to Ukraine, stated, “We haven’t reached a solution yet.”

He added, “When we are ready to cross that bridge and are ready to communicate this, we will.”

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that he had agreed with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to “work to build an international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets.”

Previously this month, Rutte had indicated during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Netherlands that talks on a potential donation of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine were making progress.

The UK, The Netherlands, France, and Belgium have expressed readiness to train Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets. However, these countries either lack sufficient F-16s or will commission them too late to be dispatched to Ukraine. It’s believed that only the US has a substantial enough stock of these planes to send in the upcoming months. Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, expressed confidence on a Ukrainian TV broadcast that an “aviation coalition,” set to provide Western fighter jets to Ukraine, will be established this year. He affirmed that there are nations willing to contribute combat aircraft as part of this coalition.

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