Zelensky continues tour of northern Europe and stops in Denmark after visiting the Netherlands

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2023-08-21 | 02:21
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Zelensky continues tour of northern Europe and stops in Denmark after visiting the Netherlands
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Zelensky continues tour of northern Europe and stops in Denmark after visiting the Netherlands

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his tour of Northern Europe on Sunday, arriving in Denmark after his visit to the Netherlands. 

During his visit to the Netherlands, Zelensky praised the "historic" decision of both countries to supply his nation with American F-16 fighter jets, just two days after the United States gave its approval.

Zelensky took to the "X" platform (formerly Twitter), stating that "our fighters will receive 42 fighter jets" from the Netherlands. He expressed gratitude to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. These 42 aircraft will supplement the 19 F-16s promised by Denmark to be provided to Kyiv.

Zelensky arrived at the Danish Air Force base in Skrydstrup, located in the eastern part of the country, at around 16:30 (14:30 GMT), according to reports from Agence France-Presse correspondents. Denmark and the Netherlands have committed to delivering F-16s to Kyiv as soon as Ukrainian pilots complete their training.

Zelensky was received by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and Defense Minister Jacob Ellemann-Jensen.

During the visit, they observed F-16 fighter jets and were briefed on the training process for Ukrainian pilots, according to the office of the Danish Prime Minister.

Frederiksen mentioned in a press conference with Zelensky, "We know you need more," referring to military equipment. She added, "So we will provide Ukraine with 19 F-16 fighter jets." 

She explained that the delivery would occur gradually: six jets by the end of the current year, eight the following year, and five in the subsequent year.

Zelensky remarked during the conference, "This is very strong support for us," confirming that training for Ukrainian pilots and engineers had already begun in Denmark.

Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that his country and Denmark would supply F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv. He made the announcement during Zelensky's visit to the Dutch Air Force base in Eindhoven in the southern part of the Netherlands.

Rutte clarified that the Netherlands currently possesses 42 aircraft of this type, but discussions with international partners are necessary before determining the number to be sent to Kyiv.

Rutte stated to Zelensky that the Netherlands and Denmark are committed to delivering F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine once the conditions for this transfer are met.

Zelensky responded, calling it a "very historic, strong, and motivating step for us. It is another step toward strengthening Ukrainian air defense."

He emphasized that sending F-16 aircraft "to Ukraine to protect our people from Russian terrorism" is the primary objective of his visit.

Danish Defense Minister Jacob Ellemann Jensen stated on Sunday, "I am proud that Denmark and the Netherlands are contributing F-16 fighter jets to the fight for freedom in Ukraine against Russia and its unwarranted aggression." 

He added that Denmark's support for Ukraine remains steadfast, and by providing F-16s, Denmark demonstrates the necessary course of action.

On Friday, the United States granted approval for the delivery of American F-16 fighter jets to the Netherlands and Denmark for Kyiv as soon as Ukrainian pilots finish their training, which is overseen by a coalition of 11 countries. Officials hope that Ukrainian pilots will be ready by early 2024.

Rutte affirmed plans to have pilots attend language courses to enhance their use of the fighter jets and expressed his desire to commence military training in Denmark "as soon as possible and in the very near future," followed by further training in Romania.



AFP
 

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Zelensky

Tour

Northern

Europe

Denmark

Visiting

Netherlands

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