Air siren sent Dutch FM into bomb shelter in Kyiv
During his visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Tuesday, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs had to take shelter in an air-raid shelter. An air raid siren went off in Kyiv, a spokesperson for his Ministry confirmed. It happened just before a meeting with the mayor of the city, Vitali Klitschko.
Hoekstra visited the Ukrainian capital together with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. The Dutch Minister spoke with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine even after the war with Russia is over, Hoekstra said to Zelenskyy. "Ukraine can count on us when the time comes for reconstruction," he said.
Excellent conversation with president @ZelenskyyUa, together with @ABaerbock. I emphasised that the Netherlands continues to fully support #Ukraine. With military equipment & crushing sanctions against Russia. Ukraine can count on us when the time for reconstruction arrives. 🇺🇦🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/v8kjzxWzua— Wopke Hoekstra (@WBHoekstra) May 10, 2022
Hoekstra also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. He promised that the Netherlands would continue to support the country with weapons and financial and humanitarian.
Important to be in #Kyiv today, witnessing the enormous impact of the Russian aggression on the Ukrainian people. And, after many phone calls, good to shake hands again with @DmytroKuleba. We will continue to support #Ukraine with military, humanitarian and financial aid. pic.twitter.com/eCsMWXaFmD— Wopke Hoekstra (@WBHoekstra) May 10, 2022
The Dutch Foreign Minister visited Irpin, a suburb in Kyiv hit hard by the war with the Russians. "The bombed-out houses and buildings illustrate the impact the war has had on the lives of the men, women, and children who live here," he said. "These acts cannot go unpunished. The Netherlands is committed to establishing the truth and achieving justice."
In addition to meeting the Ukrainian Cabinet members, Hoekstra also officially reopened the Dutch embassy in Kyiv. The Dutch representation in the capital moved to the western city of Lviv after the outbreak of the war and also operated from Poland for a while.
Hoekstra also visited Ukraine shortly before the war broke out with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Netherlands supports the country in the fight against Russia by supplying weapons, among other things. The government also wants to help investigate possible war crimes.
Rutte will address the Ukrainian parliament later this week via a video link, as Zelenskyy did with the Dutch parliament at the end of March.
Reporting by ANP.