In a strategic move to fortify Ukraine’s defence capabilities against evolving threats, the Netherlands injects €122m ($131.7m) into ammunition, equipment, and cybersecurity initiatives, signalling steadfast support in the face of mounting challenges.
Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced the contribution to the House of Representatives, detailing the breakdown of artillery, equipment, and cybersecurity funds. The Netherlands recently pledged 18 F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine.
A noteworthy €87m will be channelled towards acquiring artillery shells, demonstrating the Netherlands’ solidarity in the ongoing conflict. This financial injection is an extension of the €130m previously earmarked for shells through a German-led fund, underscoring the Dutch government’s commitment to addressing the urgent needs on the ground.
Additionally, €25m will be directed to the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU), further facilitating the purchase of essential equipment. The IFU, initiated by the United Kingdom, has proven instrumental in expediting the procurement of air defence systems, ammunition, and spare parts directly from the industry, ensuring a swift and optimal utilisation of resources.
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Recognising the evolving nature of contemporary threats, the Netherlands is earmarking €10m for enhancing cybersecurity defences. This allocation aims to fortify the country’s online infrastructure, which has been repeatedly targeted by hacking attempts and cyber attacks.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, cyberattacks by Russian-affiliated groups have been frequent but more small scale, according to GlobalData’s “Thematic Intelligence: Cybersecurity (2023)” report. Russian-linked attackers attacked the KA-SAT satellite communication system in Ukraine in February 2022, an hour before launching a full-scale military attack.
The Netherlands has committed to increasing defence spending in recent months following the invasion of Ukraine. The increased spending will also help to compensate for equipment sent to Ukraine, according to GlobalData’s “The Netherlands Defense Market 2023-2028” report.
Minister Ollongren emphasised the importance of sustained support for Ukraine, “It is very important to support Ukraine for not only the short term but also the long term,” Ollongren said. “Right now, it is important to show that we are helping Ukraine. They fight for their country and for the values we share: self-determination, freedom, equality, human rights.”
As part of the broader Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), comprising 50 partner countries, the Netherlands’ contributions underscore the collaborative international effort to empower Ukraine in its quest for security and sovereignty.