Joint press release from the Belgian Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder and the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Roustem Umerov
Today, on the sidelines of the ministerial meetings at NATO Headquarters, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder and her Ukrainian counterpart Minister Umerov met in a bilateral meeting. During this, she announced to her counterpart the next concrete aid provided by Belgium within the framework of the F-16 coalition (Jet-Coalition), aimed at providing Ukraine with a fleet of aircraft of hunting allowing it to ensure the integrity of its territory and the protection of its airspace but also to contribute to the security of the Ukrainian people.
Belgium will strengthen its contribution within the F-16 coalition. From 2024, Belgian Defense will train F-16 pilots and mission planners. Additionally, two Belgian companies, Sabena Engineering and Patria Bec, will provide essential technical support for the F-16 fleet. This year again, Defense will welcome a detachment of Ukrainian technicians for training.
Furthermore, from 2025 Defense will be able to offer to supply F-16s to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as part of the process of replacing the Belgian F-16 fleet with F-35 fighter planes.
Ludivine Dedonder, Belgian Minister of Defense: “Following Russia's unprecedented illegal aggression, Belgium was one of the first countries to send support to Ukraine, including lethal and non-lethal military equipment. As partners we will continue to support Ukraine in its defense against continued attacks by the Russian armed forces. All requests for assistance made by Ukraine are analyzed by the Defense Staff, taking into account our stocks, our capabilities, and this in close cooperation with our defense and security industry sector. I would like to emphasize the importance of the complementarity of aid provided by the coalition, the combination of which must make it possible to bring back the peace in Ukraine."
Rustem Umerov, Ukrainian Minister of Defence:
"Ukrainian Defense Minister: “We are grateful to Belgium's leadership and people for their steadfast support of Ukraine. From the very first days, Belgium’s contribution to the Ukrainian victory was enormous.
Today, the countries of the free world must stay united to confront the Russian brutal aggression in Ukraine jointly. This is not a war of just our country. This is a war of the free world with full-scale terror. And we have to fight it together.”