"The F-16 is a powerful step forward. The importance of this decision of the Government of the Netherlands cannot be overemphasized": Oleksii Reznikov met with the Minister of Defence of the Netherlands Kajsa Ollongren2023-08-22 20:00:00 | ID: 70549
Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov held a meeting in Kyiv with his counterpart and a great friend of Ukraine - Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Kajsa Ollongren, who visited our country on a working visit.
During the meeting, they discussed the consolidation of efforts to repel armed aggression of the russian federation, as well as the implementation of bilateral projects to strengthen the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Oleksii Reznikov thanked the Government, the Parliament, the entire people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and personally Kajsa Ollongren for their comprehensive support and assistance in defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.
"This is already the third visit of Ms Kajsa Ollongren to Ukraine since February 24, 2022, and this is a strong signal to all our defenders that we have such a powerful friend on the international arena. I want to thank all the people, the Parliament, and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the tremendous volume of support we have received since russia crossed the state border of Ukraine with open aggression. With such support from our partners, we will definitely win and the victory will be ours," Oleksii Reznikov said.
The Minister of Defence of Ukraine acknowledged the importance of the decision made by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to join the G7 Joint Declaration on the provision of advance security guarantees to Ukraine.
"It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of the decision the Government of the Netherlands made to establish the 'Jet Coalition’ - firstly to train our pilots, engineers and technicians, and eventually, once the training is complete, to deliver the F-16 fighter jets to us. It was thanks to the initiative of the Kingdom of Netherlands together with the Kingdom of Denmark, as well as the initiative of Ms Kajsa Ollongren, that the "Jet Coalition" was established. I want to remind everyone that air defence remains our number one priority so that our children go to schools and universities and there is a peaceful sky over Ukraine. That is why the decision on the F-16 is a powerful one and it will make our air defence even stronger," the head of the Ministry of Defence emphasized.
Oleksii Reznikov noted that within the framework of meetings of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group (the so-called ‘Ramstein Club’), many coalitions in the interests of Ukraine were born. And all the important ones - with the participation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
"Let me just remind: these include 155 mm artillery systems an ammunition, armoured vehicles of various types, tanks, air defence, training of our military personnel, and even the young 'Naval Coalition'. Today, there are no doubts that the coalition of European, Euro-Atlantic countries will continue developing, and Ukraine will be a full member of the EU and NATO. And we definitely see and feel that the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands support Ukraine and we will live together in a peaceful and secure Europe," the Minister of Defence of Ukraine emphasized.
Kajsa Ollongren expressed her admiration and respect for Ukrainian defenders and the entire Ukrainian people and assured that the Kingdom of the Netherlands will remain a faithful partner of Ukraine and will be providing our country with all kinds of support.
"I feel admiration and respect for the entire people of Ukraine, the leadership, military service members, the entire Ukrainian state, which stands for its freedom and sovereignty, moreover, for our common European values against the aggression of the russian federation. The Netherlands remains fully committed to supporting Ukraine in its struggle for integrity and sovereignty. For the last year and a half, we have been supporting you in what you are doing. We make a significant contribution to all projects that work for Ukraine. Our country has already allocated about €2 billion for various types of aid including technical-logistical support, weapons, equipment; we also provided bridges and lorries, various types of vehicles, ammunition, medical equipment. As far as I know, you are currently facing the problem of extremely densely mined areas. We are already helping with special equipment for demining and will try to expand this help in the future. There is a decision to provide about a thousand portable charges for remote demining. This can help making passages trough obstacle systems," Kajsa Ollongren said.
She also emphasized that the Netherlands will continue working to further satisfy all Ukraine's needs, particularly in the system of our country’s air defence, which is a critically important component for preserving the lives of Ukrainians and the infrastructure of the country.
"We were very happy to announce the next step to strengthen air defence, namely the transfer of F-16 fighter jets. We have already agreed on training program for Ukrainian pilots. We plan to start training at the training centre in Romania, we have F-16s available for training. We absolutely understand that training implies further transfer, so as soon as there is an opportunity, everything will be brought to completion. We all already know very well how quickly Ukrainian military service members learn, there is no doubt that the training will be held, but it will also be necessary to integrate all this both into the support system and into the system of the Armed Forces, in particular the Air Force. It is not only a matter of training, but also a matter of capabilities and technical support. But we are already working on this. We have made a commitment that everything will be done as quickly as possible," Kajsa Ollongren emphasized.
The Minister of Defence of the Netherlands thanked Oleksii Reznikov for his tireless efforts in encouraging foreign partners to do even more than they are doing now. In particular, she expressed gratitude for the transparency and clarity in the formation of Ukraine's needs and for the creative approaches to the process of finding solutions.