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Dutch PM vows Patriots to Ukraine during Biden meeting

January 18, 2023

During a meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House, Dutch PM Mark Rutte said the recent Russian attack in Dnipro strengthened his country's resolve even further to stand with Ukraine

President Joe Biden meets with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
US President Joe Biden and Dutch PM Mark Rutte met at the White House, with Ukraine and China at the top of the agenda Image: Carolyn Kaster/AP/picture alliance

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has signaled his "intention" to follow the US and Germany's efforts to train and arm Ukraine with advanced Patriot missile defense systems.

Rutte discussed his plans during a meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.

"We have the intention to join what you are doing with Germany on the Patriot project," Rutte told Biden.

"I think that it's important we join that," the Netherlands PM said.

Rutte added that he had "discussed it also this morning" with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Biden thanked the Dutch PM for being "very very stalwart" in his support for Kyiv.

Rutte referred to the "terrible footage" of an apartment building destroyed by a Russian missile in Ukraine's Dnipro on Saturday, saying that "these are horrible pictures and I think it strengthens even more our resolve to stay with Ukraine."

Zelenskyy says Netherlands offered Patriot battery

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address Tuesday said that the Netherlands had agreed to send Ukraine a Patriot battery.

"So, there are now three guaranteed batteries. But this is only the beginning. We are working on new solutions to strengthen our air defense,'' he said.

Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS, Rutte said that his government is in talks about what exactly it can contribute. The Dutch military has four Patriot systems, one of which is not in service, as per the defense ministry.

"The idea is not only training, but also equipment,'' Rutte told the broadcaster.

He said that the country's military is now reviewing "what exactly we have, how can we ensure that it works well with the American and German systems.''

Could Patriot air defense systems be a game-changer?

Biden, Rutte also talk China export controls

Biden and Rutte also had a discussion on Dutch concerns over new US restrictions on exporting chip-making technology to China.

"It did come up in their conversation," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the media following the talks on Tuesday.

The Biden administration has been making efforts to get the Netherlands on the same page since the US Commerce Department declared the new export controls aimed at Beijing in October last year.

The Netherlands-based tech giant ASML Holding is a major supplier to the semiconductor industry. China is among ASML's biggest clients.

dvv/wd (AFP, AP, Reuters)