Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday that discussions about supplying Ukraine with Western fighter jets were taking place “behind closed doors,” and declined to make a strong indication either way on the potential for his country to send aircraft.
“I cannot say if that will ever happen,” Rutte told CNN affiliate RTL News on the sidelines of a meeting with the Ukrainian president in Brussels. “But those are discussions that are taking place behind closed doors. And that is not something that you can do in public."
The Netherlands has been on the leading edge of countries saying they are willing to entertain giving Ukraine fighter jets. French President Emmanuel Macron, during a press conference with Rutte in The Hague last month, said that “nothing is off-limits in principle.”
“We do not say no,” Rutte said on Thursday. “But before, we also have not said no to other weapons systems. We are even somewhat forward leaning … when it comes to this type of deliveries.”
He reiterated his position that the Netherlands has “no taboos” about weapons delivery, so long as the “red line” of direct NATO-Russia confrontation is prevented.
Zelensky at the EU summit: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke during a European Union summit in Brussels Thursday, taking his pitch for more military support directly to the assembly of world leaders.
Zelensky said he would have several bilateral meetings during his time in Brussels specifically to discuss the issue of providing fighter jets to Ukraine.
CNN's Radina Gigova contributed to this report.