90 Dutch troops training Ukrainian soldiers in UK: MoD
The Dutch government says it is involved in training Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom.
Some 90 Dutch troops have direct involvement in the training of Ukrainian armed forces in the United Kingdom, the Defense Ministry of the Netherlands said Tuesday.
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren paid on Monday a working visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, where she discussed military support for Ukraine with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.
"At present, 90 Dutch military personnel are in the United Kingdom to give basic military training to Ukrainian soldiers," the Dutch Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"The Netherlands has also provided equipment to the Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal service, and together, with a partner country, is investigating the possibilities for support to Ukraine through related training and sharing expertise," it said.
The Netherlands had agreed in late February to ship 200 Stinger air defense missiles to Ukraine in response to a request by the Ukrainian government.
"There was a careful but, given the circumstances, shortened check to make sure this meets weapons exports criteria," Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren said in a briefing to MPs at the time.
Stinger missiles can be used against aircraft at a range of up to five kilometers. The Dutch army has two types of Stinger missiles: portable missiles that can be fired from the shoulder and another type that can be mounted on armored vehicles.
The Netherlands announced earlier today that it would be sending Kiev $80 million in aid and investment, in addition to further funds.
"Additional funds (10 million euros) will also be allocated to projects aimed at clearing mines and other explosive ordnances left by the war. Furthermore, the Netherlands has reserved 1 million euros to support the first plans for the reconstruction of the municipalities of Kherson, Odesa, and Mykolaiv," the Dutch foreign ministry announced.
The Dutch support for Kiev comes amid mass energy shortages in the country, as Amsterdam, like the entire of Europe, will not be able to pump enough gas into the storage facilities by winter without contingency measures.
In June, the European Union agreed to put an end to all Russian oil imports, despite Europe's heavy dependence on Russian energy.
The Netherlands is not alone in providing training and arms to Ukraine, as the United States has been providing training for Ukrainian soldiers when it comes to arms they are not accustomed to. However, these arms are still ending up on the black market due to "inexperience".
So far, the US has sent 16 HIMARS to Ukraine and pledged to send two NASAMS on July 1.
The US State Department issued a statement earlier this month written by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announcing that he is authorizing the US' largest single drawdown of arms and equipment to support Ukraine.
"This eighteenth drawdown since August 2021 of up to $1 billion includes arms, munitions, and equipment from US Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine’s self-defense," the statement said.