Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues initial warning to Dutch people in Ukraine
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) has called on Dutch nationals in Ukraine to ask themselves whether their stay is “really necessary” in an email sent to those who have registered with the ministry. The email warned that Ukraine’s airspace could eventually close or become unsafe if tensions between the country and Russia escalate.
"It may also be that unexpectedly at some point communication is no longer possible via telephone or the internet, for example,” the email read. “If you stay and the situation deteriorates further, departure by air will probably no longer be possible. Be prepared for that."
The embassy will soon organize an online information meeting for Dutch nationals who are in Ukraine. Dutch people in Ukraine who have not yet registered with the ministry are urged to do so. About 100 Dutch nationals are registered with the ministry, but the department does not know the exact number of Dutch people in the country. It hopes to provide more information about this following the information meeting.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra visited Ukraine last week to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Rutte also met with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmychal in Kyiv, where he expressed his support of Ukraine.
In a press conference following his return, Rutte stressed that “dialogue and de-escalation” are important to prevent the situation from “getting out of hand.” Rutte also said the Netherlands has offered Ukraine assistance to prevent cyberattacks, but is still considering other forms of support.
“There is also a request from Ukraine for military support,” Rutte said. “We're looking at that seriously. This, of course, requires careful consideration. That takes time.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.