We must put a stop to Putin's aggression: Dutch PM
This is a time for united action, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the start of a parliamentary debate on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "We must put a stop to Russian aggression, Putin's aggression. Together and with unity, because that is the only way." The Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands, Maksym Kononenko, is also at the debate, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
Rutte, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, and Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra welcomed Kononenko on behalf of the Dutch Cabinet. Parliamentarians from most parties in parliament also welcomed him, though the PVV and FvD did not.
"This is not a time for wavering and restraint, but for determined and united action, nationally and internationally," Rutte said. He said that the economic sanctions and defensive aid for Ukraine will be a significant blow to Russia but will also have economic consequences for the Netherlands, such as rising energy prices. "If that is the price of security and freedom, we must be prepared to pay that price."
"We also need to be prepared for Ukrainian asylum seekers who come here," he added. Millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They'll need to find safety somewhere, and the Netherlands will work with the European Union to find shelter for them. "Our hearts are with the innocent women, men, and children who have to shelter day and night from enemy fire, and with the Ukrainian soldiers," Rutte told parliament.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the ordinary citizens of Russia, who are all affected by the sanctions. "A large part of the Russian population does not want this war either. Let's not forget that,' he said.
The parliamentarians drummed on their tables at the end of the speech to show their agreement.