Prime Minister welcomes Ukrainian president Zelensky in Brussels
This morning, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the meeting, Belgium's support for Ukraine and Belgium's participation in the F-16 coalition were discussed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's surprise visit took place at 16 Rue de la Loi, the Prime Minister's official residence. Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder and Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib also took part in the meeting. Three specific issues were discussed.
Our country is part of the F-16 coalition for Ukraine. Together with the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, Belgium will train pilots and maintain aircraft. The government is also prepared to supply F16 fighter jets.
Alexander De Croo: "We are on the side of Ukraine. We’ve had their back since the beginning of the Russian invasion. From 2025, Belgium will make F16s available to Ukraine. That will of course depend on the decision of the next government."
The Ukrainian President is satisfied with the Belgian commitment. Volodymyr Zelensky: "I am very grateful to Belgium for deciding today to help Ukraine with F-16s from 2025. This contributes to the long-term availability of fighter aircraft."
Economic sanctions against Russia
Belgium is working on a conclusive system to exclude Russian diamonds from the global markets. Both the 27 EU countries and the G7 countries are to cooperate in the implementation of the embargo on Russian diamonds.
The Prime Minister also spoke with Mr. Zelensky about setting up a new Ukraine fund. The money will come from tax revenues levied on the interests on Russian assets frozen in Belgium.
Alexander De Croo: "Currently, an amount of 1.7 billion is already available. We will use that money to buy military equipment, humanitarian aid and help with the reconstruction of the worst-affected regions in Ukraine."