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The Netherlands announced that it will provide Patriot missile assistance to Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte meet in the Oval Office of the White House. (17 January 2023)
U.S. President Joe Biden and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte meet in the Oval Office of the White House. (17 January 2023)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday (Jan. 17) that the Netherlands plans to “join” U.S. and German efforts to provide Ukraine with advanced Patriot defense systems and related training.

Rutte met with U.S. President Joe Bide at the White House on Tuesday. He expressed the intention of the Netherlands at the beginning of the meeting. The Dutch Defense Ministry said Rutte made the announcement after Ukraine asked the Netherlands for “Patriot capabilities.”

“We have the intention to join what you and Germany are doing on the Patriot program,” Rutte told Biden. “I think it’s important that we come in.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a nightly video address that the Netherlands had agreed to provide Ukraine with a company of “patriots” system. “So, now there are three missile companies that are guaranteed to be,” he said. But this is just the beginning. We are working on new solutions to strengthen our air defense. ”

Rutte said he also spoke Tuesday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the possibility of providing assistance. In his public comments, Rutte expressed a more vague version of the Netherlands’ commitments. He told the Dutch Broadcasting Corporation (NOS) that his government was consulting on exactly what it could contribute. According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, the Dutch army has four Patriot systems, one of which is not in service.

Rutte told NOS: “The idea is not just training, but also equipment. He added that the Dutch military is currently considering “what exactly we have and how can we ensure it works well with U.S. and German systems.” ”

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Profile photo: The Northern Lights reflect an M903 Patriot missile launcher during an exercise at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. (5 March 2022)
Profile photo: The Northern Lights reflect an M903 Patriot missile launcher during an exercise at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. (5 March 2022)

He also added at a forum at Georgetown University that the decision was made in recognition that as Ukraine enters a critical phase of the war, “we all have to do more.” ”

As Rutte talked about possible Dutch assistance, Ukrainian servicemen arrived at Army Base in Fort Sil, Oklahoma, to begin training in the operation and maintenance of the Patriot missile defense system. The Patriot is the most advanced surface-to-air missile system provided by the West to Ukraine to help repel Russian air strikes.

Air Force Brigadier Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the training will last several months and that 90 to 100 Ukrainian troops will be trained on how to use the Patriot missile system.

Biden also used Tuesday’s White House meeting to discuss U.S. efforts to further restrict China’s access to advanced semiconductors through export controls, but U.S. efforts to enlist Dutch cooperation appear to be making no progress.

(This article is based on an Associated Press report.)

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