Nearly 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers trained in Belgium

Nearly 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers trained in Belgium

About 2,500 Ukrainian service members have already undergone professional training in Belgium, Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said on Thursday.

That's according to The Brussels Times, Ukrinform reports.

"Belgium has trained nearly 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers to aid in their fight against the Russian invasion. […] Supporting Ukraine remains a principal mission, involving troop deployment in Romania and Lithuania. The aid also extends to training, preparing soldiers, pilots and technicians for the imminent delivery of F-16 fighter jets," the news story reads.

At the same time, Dedonder noted that the delivery timeline has raised questions following various delays in Belgium's receipt of successor aircraft F-35. Dedonder nevertheless reassured that deliveries of F-16s to Ukraine could occur "before the end of the year if possible." To facilitate quicker dispatch of F-16s to Ukraine, additional spare parts have been ordered. These will enable faster dispatch as soon as the first F-35s are received.

Read also: Ten Ukrainian recruits complete training for F-16 maintenance in the Netherlands

Financial support to Ukraine this year amounts to EUR 916 million, totaling EUR 1.2 billion since Russia invaded in 2022, Dedonder stated. The funds used derive from interest on frozen Russian assets in Belgium.

"Dedicating continued support to Ukraine will proceed as long as necessary," Dedonder affirmed.

Conversely, committing ground troops, a notion suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron, is "not on the agenda."

In May 2024, Ukraine and Belgium started negotiations on concluding a security cooperation agreement.

Illustration photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

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