Military intervention in Ukraine is not an option: Rutte
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said military intervention in Ukraine is not on the table, according to the NOS. His comments came after a two-day summit at Versailles where the 27 leaders of the EU member states convened.
The only possible ways to help Ukraine at the moment are through economic sanctions toward Russia, medical and humanitarian aid and the supply of military equipment as far as is “responsible,” Rutte said. However, he stressed that actions like sending in troops or establishing a no-fly zone would put NATO in direct conflict with Russia –– the world’s second-largest nuclear power.
Any military intervention could have “potential consequences that are incalculable,” Rutte said. “They could be so serious that they could also be a danger to the whole world."
Rutte also noted that keeping the Netherlands safe is “the Cabinet’s first task,” in addition to protecting the NATO alliance. "There is a moment when leaders have to say: now it is becoming irresponsible,” he said.
Additionally, Rutte commented on Ukraine’s application to join the EU, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially submitted at the end of February. NOS reports there are rumors that Rutte in particular might object to this, although a majority of the European Parliament supports Ukraine's membership candidacy.
"It is Ukraine's European ambition and we have to recognize it,” Rutte said. “They are also partners in Europe, we are family. But if the application for membership becomes a part, an instrument, in a political process, then that is a great risk for the EU as a whole."
However, he reiterated his support for Ukraine. “We must do everything we can to de-escalate [the war] as soon as possible, stop it where it is and let it end,” he said.