Ukraine and the Netherlands have agreed to provide our country with F-16 fighter jets after the training of Ukrainian pilots and engineers is completed. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with media representatives following negotiations with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and a briefing on the operation of F-16 fighter jets in the framework of a working visit to the Netherlands.
"Another step to bolster Ukraine's sky shield is F-16s. We will use these jets to keep Russian terrorists away from Ukrainian cities and villages. Mark and I have agreed on the number of F-16s that will be provided to Ukraine after the training of pilots and engineers," the Head of State informed.
He expressed confidence that F-16s will certainly give a new energy of confidence and motivation to Ukrainian warriors, which will yield new results for Ukraine and the whole of Europe.
Answering journalists' questions, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the Netherlands had become the first country to agree to provide Ukraine with F-16s after the completion of the relevant pilot training.
"I would rather not talk about the number (of aircraft - ed.), Mark said that we are discussing the number of 42, but we are going to have a conversation with our colleagues from Denmark as well. As Mark said, it is a joint decision on providing the aircraft. I think it will be fair to talk about the number a little later," the President explained.
At the same time, he noted that Ukraine needs to prepare the infrastructure for the operation of F-16 aircraft, and our military will work on this issue.
The Head of State also noted that, in addition to aircraft, our country also needs to enhance air defense, especially as the autumn-winter period approaches, when energy infrastructure facilities will again become priority targets for Russian missile attacks.
"We, like no one else in the world, understand what winter without electricity is like. That is why we have a set of tasks that we need to solve," the President said.
As Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted, during the full-scale invasion, Russia has already used more than 6,500 missiles and more than 3,500 attack drones, including Iranian "Shaheds", against Ukraine. The vast majority of them were aimed at civilian targets, not military ones.
The President of Ukraine emphasized the leadership of the Netherlands in supporting our air defense, which actually saves thousands of people, entire cities and the entire country.
"I thank you, Mark, I thank the Netherlands, I thank the people of the Netherlands for their leadership in supporting Ukraine. For their leadership in the Patriot coalition, for every launching station and missile provided for air defense, for NASAMS. Each of these munitions, each missile, is a life saved. We highly appreciate it. And we thank you for every piece of this weapon," the Head of State said.
He informed that the parties also discussed the issue of expanding defense cooperation between the two countries.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted the leadership of the Netherlands in global efforts to implement the Ukrainian Peace Formula and bring those responsible for aggression against Ukraine to justice.
"And today we talked about this work. When we all together restore the full force of international law and the UN Charter after the Russian aggression, a significant merit of your state will be in this result," the President of Ukraine summarized.