The news network Euractiv.com on February 10 quoted Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo as saying that the country will not send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine because they are necessary for the defense of Belgium.
According to Croo, Belgium is ready to offer other forms of assistance to the conflict-torn European nation.
“A year ago, when [Tổng thống Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky] Speaking to us online via televised, he told us that we would most likely not see him again. However, a year later, Mr. Zenlensky went to Brussels, to Paris, to London…”, the Belgian Prime Minister said.
“We are facing a major Russian attack and it is more important than ever to be united,” Croo said.
According to Croo, Belgium and Europe “stand with the Ukrainian people” and that “Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy is also a battle for European values”.
After President Zelensky’s visit to Brussels on 9 February and his first in-person address to the European Parliament since the outbreak of conflict, Prime Minister Croo reiterated his readiness to help Kiev.
However, Mr. Croo explained that Belgium will not be able to send fighter jets to Ukraine because the country needs its fighters.
“We couldn’t be without them. They are necessary to protect NATO,” Croo told Belgian news agency VRT, adding that the planes also protect the Baltic states and their airspace. of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Mr Croo reiterated that Belgium decided to provide “a very important military aid package two weeks ago”.
Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder recently announced that the country will provide an additional military aid package of 92 million euros to Ukraine – “the largest military aid package we have approved to date”. ”, which was combined with the previous 146 million euro aid package, which included “fuel and ammunition, in addition to anti-tank guns and machine guns”.
On February 8, Minister Dedonder also said that Belgium is considering sending Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine.