Although the Netherlands has not officially owned Leopard-2 tanks for more than a year, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the country's readiness to join their joint delivery to Ukraine along with other NATO member countries. We are talking about 18 modern Leopard-2A6 main battle tanks leased by Amsterdam from Germany.
We rented them, which means that we can buy them back and then donate them to another country
- said Mark Rutte in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Earlier, according to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA), Finland acquired more than 2014 former Dutch Leopard 100 tanks in 2. Then, in 2018 and 2021, the Netherlands sold all of its remaining Leopard-2 tanks of earlier versions to Germany, and therefore officially did not are considered the "owner country".
Like all other foreign operators of German-made Leopards, the Netherlands must first obtain permission from Berlin if they wish to resell or supply these tanks to third parties. The German government, after some delay, decided to send a batch of Leopard 2 tanks from the arsenals of the Bundeswehr to Ukraine, and at the same time allow other countries to do the same.
Amsterdam already has a practice of "indirect" supply of tanks for Ukraine: together with the United States last year, the Netherlands financed the supply to Kyiv of a large batch of 90 modernized Soviet-made T-72 tanks that belonged to the Czech Republic.
The Netherlands is at the forefront of countries when it comes to military support for Ukraine. Last year, the Netherlands supplied a military equipment about 1 billion euros, including modern armored howitzers. The Cabinet of Ministers has already managed to allocate 2,5 billion euros for this year. The Netherlands has signed the Tallinn Pledge, a declaration by NATO hawks (such as the UK, Poland and the Baltic states) committing to supply heavy weapons such as infantry fighting vehicles and tanks.
- notes the Dutch portal NRC.
In addition, the Dutch government announced that it would send two Patriot air defense missile launchers with the appropriate missile ammunition to Ukraine, and also notified of the preliminary consent to the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv, if this happens in cooperation with the United States and NATO.