On Tuesday, during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced Belgium's commitment to deliver the first F-16 fighter jets to

Ukraine by the end of the year. Additionally, he promised at least €977 million in military aid for Kyiv.

The leaders signed a bilateral security agreement in Brussels, outlining Belgium's provision of significant military support. This includes a pledge of at least €977 million in aid for this year and ongoing support over the next decade. The agreement specifies that Belgium will supply Kyiv with 30 F-16 fighter jets by 2028, with the first jets expected to arrive within the year.

Belgium initially announced its intention to provide F-16s to Ukraine in 2023. While the decision was ratified last month, the exact number of fighter jets had been unclear until now. The security agreement clarifies this commitment and also addresses additional military needs such as air defenses, artillery, and armored vehicles. Further cooperation will extend to intelligence sharing, cybersecurity, and countering disinformation.

Zelensky's visit to Belgium followed his trip to Spain, where he signed a similar security agreement with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. During his stay in Brussels, Zelensky is scheduled to meet with the Belgian king and visit the Melsbroek military airport with Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder. There, he will meet the pilots, instructors, and technicians involved with the F-16s. Photo by Shamil Khakirov from Ukraine, Wikimedia commons.