Dutch PM meeting soldiers in Lithuania, refugees in Poland
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will visit both Lithuania and Poland on Monday. In addition to conversations with Ministers, he will meet with Dutch soldiers in Lithuania and Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
The war in Ukraine is central to the trip. In Vilnius, Rutte will speak with President Gitanas Nausėda and Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. Dutch soldiers have been stationed in Lithuania for over five years as part of a NATO mission against the Russian threat.
After that, the Dutch Prime Minister will travel to Poland. About 2 million refugees from Ukraine have fled there since the Russian invasion of their country almost four weeks ago. Rutte will visit a reception location in Warsaw together with the mayor of the Polish capital.
In Warsaw, Rutte will also consult with his colleague Mateusz Morawiecki. The Dutch government's relationship with the deeply conservative Polish government has been rocky in recent years, partly because of concerns about the undermining of the Polish rule of law.
Like Lithuania, Poland faces a hard line against Russia in the current crisis. Poland called for a total trade ban with Russia this weekend. Morawiecki also supported the plan to quickly make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership. The Netherlands is against that.
Reporting by ANP