Dutch to make 10-year security deal with Ukraine

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The Netherlands will seal a 10-year security deal with Ukraine, Dutch officials announced Friday, to match similar agreements signed by Germany, Britain, France and Denmark.

Ukraine has been anxious to shore up its security with bilateral agreements, two years after Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

"This agreement is a signal from the government that the Netherlands wants to support Ukraine for a longer period of time in the areas of security, defence, reconstruction and justice," the Dutch foreign ministry said.

"The Netherlands is thus helping Ukraine to defend itself against Russia," said a ministry statement. It said the accord would be signed "soon" but did not give details.

A staunch ally of Kyiv, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte -- now a frontrunner to become the next NATO chief -- called the deal "good news."

"This sends a strong signal to Russia: we strongly support Ukraine," Rutte said on X, formerly Twitter.

The Netherlands has already given 2.63 billion ($2.85 billion) in military support to Ukraine, pledging another 2.0 billion euros this year.

It announced in December it was preparing a delivery of 18 F-16 combat jets to Ukraine.

It has also given tanks, heavy artillery, machine guns and ammunition, and drones.

The Hague is home to a number of judicial institutions probing war crimes in Ukraine committed since Russia's invasion.

"Our own security is closely linked to the security of Ukraine," Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot said in the statement.

"Ukraine must be assured that they can count on our support in the longer term," Bruins Slot added.