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21 Aug, 2023 14:09

EU state names kеy condition for F-16 donation to Ukraine

Denmark say Kiev must use Western fighter jets only on its own territory
EU state names kеy condition for F-16 donation to Ukraine

F-16 fighter jets set to be donated to Kiev by Denmark and the Netherlands must only be used on Ukrainian territory, Danish Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said on Monday.  

As reported by Reuters, the minister stressed that the two EU states will “donate the weapons under the condition that they are used to drive the enemy out of the territory of Ukraine. And no further than that.” 

“Those are the conditions, whether it’s tanks, fighter planes or something else,” Ellemann-Jensen added. 

Danish Conservative Party Chairman Soren Pape Poulsen has also insisted that the US-designed planes must not operate beyond Ukrainian territory under any circumstances. 

“It is important that they will be used for self-defense in Ukraine. The idea is that the planes are not to be used to enter and attack Russia,” Poulsen said, stressing that “we must remember that there is a dividing line there.” 

On Sunday, both Denmark and the Netherlands announced that they would provide Kiev with long-demanded F-16s, as Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky paid a visit to an airbase in Eindhoven to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

During a joint press conference, the Dutch leader said that while his country was in possession of 42 F-16 jets, it was as yet unclear how many it would actually donate to Kiev. Zelensky, however, later suggested in a Telegram post that the Netherlands would hand over its entire fleet. 

Simultaneously, Denmark released a statement announcing that it would provide Kiev with F-16s, but likewise did not specify how many jets it would send, noting only that certain “conditions” would have to be met for the transfer to be fulfilled. 

Although it is currently unclear when exactly the jets will be delivered.  

Rutte has been criticized for announcing the delivery without obtaining approval from the Dutch parliament, and just as he is about to leave government. 

“Madness. Dutch F-16s to Ukraine to attack Russian targets. Even now that Rutte is outgoing, he drags the Netherlands even further into war,” wrote the right-wing Forum for Democracy party on X (formerly Twitter). Instead, the party called for neutrality, an end to arms deliveries to Ukraine, and a move towards peace negotiations. 

Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop delivering increasingly advanced weaponry to Kiev, arguing it would only prolong the hostilities rather than change their ultimate outcome.

CORRECTION: The previous version of this article incorrectly stated that opposition parties in both the Netherlands and Denmark had been critical of the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. In fact, only the Dutch opposition had expressed such views, whereas the entirety of the Danish parliament supported the move, according to Martin Lidegaard of the Radikale Venstre party. However, analysts at some Danish media outlets, such as Andreas Korg, have noted that the donation of the jets will see Denmark lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars, as it had hoped to sell them to countries like Argentina.