Dutch PM blames Putin by name for Russia-Ukraine crisis; Dutch embassy remains open
Prime Minister Mark Rutte blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin by name for the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine. "One country, one person is responsible. That country is Russia, that person is Vladimir Putin," Rutte said before a crisis meeting with the most-involved Ministers on Thursday morning, NOS reports.
Russia invaded Ukraine during the early hours of Thursday morning. Ukraine reported explosions in multiple cities, including Kyiv and Lviv, and Russian troops in the coastal towns of Mariupol and Odesa.
Rutte again condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine in "the sharpest possible terms." "This is a dark day for Ukraine, Europe, and the whole world. All diplomatic effort has been aimed at preventing this. This cannot go unanswered now," he said, according to the broadcaster.
The Dutch embassy in Ukraine will remain open for the time being, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs said. The embassy was moved to Lviv earlier this month. According to Hoekstra, the European Union must impose the "most comprehensive sanction package" possible against Russia.
Later today, Rutte will go to Brussels for a previously scheduled EU summit about the situation around Russia and Ukraine. Rutte expects a "very firm" response from the EU and the rest of the world against Russia.