The Netherlands intends to supply military goods to Ukraine
The Netherlands intends to supply military goods to Ukraine. This was decided by the cabinet today, in response to Ukraine’s request for military support in the light of the threat at the Ukrainian-Russian border.
The goods in question are 3,000 combat helmets and 2,000 ballistic vests with accompanying armour plates, 30 metal detectors and 2 wire-guided detection robots for land and sea mine detection, 2 ground surveillance radar systems and 5 weapon locating radar systems, and 100 sniper rifles with 30,000 rounds of ammunition.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra: ‘The core element of the government’s efforts remains a focus on deescalating the situation through dialogue and diplomacy. Preventing war remains the highest priority. At the same time, Ukraine must be able to defend itself against a possible armed attack on its own territory by Russia. This is why the government has decided to supply these military goods to Ukraine.’ This is being done in addition to the political, financial and military support the Netherlands is already providing at bilateral level and in an EU/NATO context.
On the basis of Ukraine’s request, the Ministry of Defence drew up an inventory of military goods that could be provided. This list was then carefully assessed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the eight criteria of the EU Common Position on arms export, after which Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher granted the export licence.
‘The Netherlands is supporting Ukraine in many ways and will also provide military goods, as some other partners are also doing’ Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren said. ‘We are doing so out of solidarity, and as a part of a broader package together with EU and NATO allies.’
The combat helmets and ballistic vests are intended for personal protection. The metal detectors can be used to detect mines, improvised explosive devices and weapons caches. The wire-guided detection robots can be used to detect sea mines. The weapon locating radar systems allow enemy artillery to be located in the event of incoming fire, and the expected point of impact to be calculated so that troops can be warned and defend themselves accurately. Sniper rifles allow military targets to be hit with precision from a great distance.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Therefore, no Dutch military personnel will be deployed to Ukraine for combat operations. The training required for the use of some of the military goods will be given outside Ukraine.
In light of the tense security situation on its eastern flank, NATO needs to be able to respond swiftly to new developments. It has therefore further raised the readiness of the NATO Response Force. ‘This ensures that NATO is prepared for all possible scenarios for the defence of the Alliance,’ Ms Ollongren said. ‘As a result, the readiness of units of the Dutch armed forces is also being raised.’