DAVOS, Switzerland: The Netherlands is finalising plans to provide Patriot air missile defence systems to Ukraine with Germany and the United States and will announce further military support to Kyiv on Friday (Jan 20), Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Thursday.
Dozens of Ukraine's allies meet on Friday at a US army base in Ramstein, Germany, with billions of dollars in new weapons to be pledged.
"We are joining the United States, Germany in their project to provide Patriots to Ukraine," Ollongren told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We are working out details and will provide details in Ramstein."
When asked whether that meant the Netherlands would provide spare parts, missiles or the system, she said the details were still being debated.
"What they need right now in this phase of the war is weapons to push the Russians back from the invaded parts of the country and more air defence because these attacks are still going on," she said.
A major question mark remains on whether German-made Leopard battle tanks, which are held by an array of NATO nations but whose transfer to Ukraine requires Germany's approval, will be on the table tomorrow. Germany has so far held back.
Ollongren said she was confident a solution would be found for supplying modern battle tanks, but that the Netherlands, which leases Leopard 2 tanks from Germany, would need a green light from Berlin before deciding whether to contribute.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO on Thursday that a defeat of Russia in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war.
"I'm not that much concerned about nuclear escalation. I think that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and the Russian leadership knows that if you go there, you accept the possibility of total destruction and I don't think that's a risk they want to take," Ollongren said.