“This meeting will be held every month,” the host, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, promised.
We have no time to lose, said the retired general. “The coming weeks will be crucial for Ukraine.” Lloyd Austin has served as a soldier in West Germany and is happy that Berlin is finally delivering 50 Cheetah tanks. He did not consider Russia’s threat of world war and nuclear attack meaningful: “It does not help and it is dangerous to speculate on the use of nuclear weapons.”
According to Minister Kajse Ollongren (D66), the Netherlands will deliver a ‘limited number’ of armored howitzers to Ukraine. She was with the Commander of the Armed Forces Onna Eichelsheim at the Ramstein base, and she also spoke with her colleague Oleksiy Reznikov from Kiev. They promised to visit the Ukrainian capital “in person”.
On the wishes of the country attacked by Moscow, Ollongren said: “At least we are supplying armored vehicles.” There will also be cooperation with Berlin on artillery, more precisely the delivery of a ‘limited number’ of armored howitzers. “Since we only use some on our own, we like to keep some in reserve.” It is also needed for ‘education and training’.
The training of soldiers from Ukraine is being done jointly by the Netherlands and Germany on NATO territory, ammunition and logistics are provided by the eastern neighbors. Fearing that it would take many months for the howitzers to be ready to fight, Ollongren said, “That’s the part of training.” Nor would the system be ‘too complex’ for the Kiev army: “They definitely need weapon systems that they can deploy quickly.”
Is there a fear that the Russians will steal Dutch material that could ‘shoot thirty to fifty kilometers’? “There is that risk,” Ollongren said. “But we think we should take that risk.”