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Netherlands delivers (1)

The Dutch army will deliver 200 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine as soon as possible. This is happening after a recent request from that country, Ministers Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs and Ollongren of Defense report to the House of Representatives.

“A careful review against the arms export criteria has taken place for this request, but shortened in view of the exceptional circumstances,” the ministers write.

The Stinger is a portable weapon that fires from the shoulder. It is mainly intended to protect objects on the ground and troops from aircraft and helicopters at a distance of 500 meters to 5 kilometers. The Stinger can independently track a target thanks to the “infrared guided search head”. The weapon is intended “for defensive use“, so that Ukraine can better defend itself against Russia.

Due to the situation in Ukraine, an already planned army exercise is being moved from Germany to Romania. Defense wants to contribute in this way to the “advanced presence of NATO in Romania“.

Last Friday , the cabinet already decided to supply military goods to Ukraine. Then mention was made of sniper rifles with ammunition, helmets, fragmentation vests, radars and detectors for detecting ground mines and naval mines. Some of those goods have been shipped today, the ministers said. The other goods will be sent to Ukraine as soon as possible.

It’s not immediately clear how things get there. The ministers point out that the Netherlands “just like other countries is struggling with logistical challenges”. “Together with allies, Defense is making every effort to deliver the other goods as quickly as possible.”

Ukraine has also requested cyber support, and a fact-finding mission was scheduled to travel to Kiev on Thursday, but that has been canceled due to military developments. It is being investigated how the Dutch team can still be deployed.

Cowardly act against ‘brother folk’

In the letter, Hoekstra and Ollongren repeat that with the invasion of Ukraine, Russia is committing a “cowardly act of aggression against the Ukrainian population, which it has consistently claimed to be a brother nation”.

For the cabinet it is “it is clear that Russia, and Russia alone, is responsible for this invasion and for the great humanitarian, economic, political and social toll it is exacting on the Ukrainian people”.

Effect on the Dutch economy

The government emphasizes that the invasion and use of force are in violation of international law and that Russia cannot invoke self-defense either, because there was no question of a planned attack, or an imminent threat thereof, from Ukraine on Russia. According to the ministers, the Russian invasion was meticulously prepared and there must be a “strong and united response”.

Hoekstra and Ollongren also write that “protecting the international legal order and our freedom” has a price and that the sanctions and possible countermeasures will also have an effect on the Dutch economy.

But the government believes that there is no alternative, because the “international legal order forms the foundation of our security and stability, basic conditions for the peace and prosperity in which we live”.

Reported by NOS

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