Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday said he would join Germany and the US effort to arm Ukraine with the sophisticated Patriot air defense system, citing Russia’s “terrifying” missile attack on an apartment in Dnipro. .
At a meeting at the White House, Mr. Rutte told President Joe Biden: I think it’s important and we were part of it. ”
The Netherlands has a US-made system used to shoot down incoming rockets, but it was not clear whether Rutte intended to send actual Patriot batteries.
Germany announced on January 5 that it would send artillery batteries to Ukraine, following the United States. However, Rutte later said in his CNN interview, “It doesn’t have to be the whole system.”
“It could also be the gear as part of the system,” he said, noting that it also helps with “interoperability, training.”
“We will be part of an alliance with Germany and the United States,” he said.
At a White House meeting, Mr Rutte referred to “horrifying footage” of apartments destroyed by powerful Russian missiles in the city of Dnipro on Saturday, saying: “These are horrible pictures and our determination to stay in Ukraine. I think it will further strengthen the ”
He told Biden that he discussed the Patriots with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday.
Despite Rutte’s somewhat vague statements, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily national address that he had received “very important news” from the Dutch leader.
“Another Patriot battery will be delivered to Ukraine. Thank you Mark!” Zelensky added that this meant “three guaranteed” Patriot batteries.
Meanwhile, Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Orongren issued a statement saying the Netherlands was “in talks with the United States and Germany to provide Patriot capabilities”.
Biden praised the Netherlands’ contribution to the US-led Western alliance in helping Ukraine against Russian aggression, saying “Russia continues to act in ways that are almost unbelievable.”
According to the White House, Biden also spoke with Scholz by phone on Tuesday, only saying that he “discussed his firm support for Ukraine and condemned Russia’s aggression.”
“We also discussed our continued support for Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/netherlands-set-to-boost-push-for-patriot-missile-defenses-in-ukraine-494403/ Netherlands boosts Patriot missile defense push in Ukraine