Rutte, Zelenskyy discuss war crimes, more military aid; EU membership also pressed
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed the importance of collecting as much evidence of war crimes as possible. The Netherlands also plans to send more military aid to Ukraine. Rutte and Zelenskyy spoke over the phone on Wednesday. Tweede Kamer leader Vera Bergkamp also spoke to her counterpart in Ukraine about EU membership for the country, and the prospect of a no-fly zone there.
"More and more Ukrainian civilians and civilian targets are being hit," Rutte said on Twitter after the conversation. The Netherlands released 100 million euros to start collecting evidence in Ukraine. A United Nations commission will eventually investigate the situation.
The beleaguered government in Kyiv accused the Russian invaders of systematic crimes against the civilian population. It includes accusations that the Russian armed forces of using cluster munitions and firing on residential homes.
The Dutch Cabinet is also looking at sending more weapons and other military aid to Ukraine. The government hopes to provide more clarity on what exactly that will entail soon.
The Netherlands already sent the country sniper rifles, radar equipment, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank weapons, helmets, and fragmentation vests. The "majority" of these resources have already been delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces, the Dutch Ministry of Defense said.
Zelenskyy thanked Rutte on Wednesday for the "substantial defense assistance."
Ukraine Parliament President asks Tweede Kamer to back EU admission
Bergkamp called Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chair of the Ukrainian parliament, on Wednesday. He asked that Bergkamp relay to the Tweede Kamer his request for support for a "rapid EU candidacy" for his country, and called for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
He also asked the Dutch members of parliament to support a United Nations peacekeeping mission "with, if possible, a Dutch contribution to the 'blue helmets,'" the Tweede Kamer reported. Bergkamp passed the questions on to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Cabinet.
The video call took place at Stefanchuk‘s request, who is also speaking with other European colleagues. Bergkamp wished Stefanchuk and the Ukrainian citizens "a lot of strength and support."
Reporting by ANP