The Netherlands has committed to deliver two minehunter ships and bridge-building equipment to Ukraine after Dutch officials visited bombed areas of the war-torn country.
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Ukraine will be supplied with two Alkmaar Class minehunters starting in 2025 as well as drone detection radar systems, M3 bridge and ferrying systems for rapid bridge building, according to an announcement made by the Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren.
A Netherlands defence spokesperson said Russia has allegedly laid sea mines in the Black Sea to hinder safe passage and Ukraine will have to clear those mines after the war. The minehunter ships will be delivered starting in 2025 and have Ukrainian crews start their training later this year under the guidance of the Netherlands, Belgium, and other NATO allies.
Minister Ollongren visited heavily bombed port cities of Mykolayiv and Odesa in the country’s south, as well as the incomplete former-Soviet cruiser Ukraina with Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov earlier this month.
Both parties have discussed fortification of coastal defences, the importance of safe passage, maritime security, and protection for merchant ships carrying grain which is vital for global food security.
“We can supply the material, but you are fighting for every inch of your homeland and for the future of your children; a future in a free Ukraine and in a world where we respect each other’s borders. That is our goal,” Minister Ollongren said.
The Royal Netherlands Navy will replace the minehunters with new mine countermeasures vessels. The bridge-building equipment will be purchased directly from industry partners.