Netherlands will continue broad support for Ukraine: Dutch PM
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in Kyiv on Monday that the war in Ukraine could last longer than hoped and thought. “But that doesn’t mean we can sit back and watch the situation develop. We need to stay focused and continue to support Ukraine in every way we can.” Rutte visited Ukraine for the first time since the Russians invaded the country in February.
Rutte said after meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that aid also means that the international community must continuously and openly give political support to Ukraine, as happened with the prospective membership to the European Union. But it also includes considerable military material support so that the Ukrainians can continue to resist the Russian aggression, according to Rutte. The Netherlands will continue to provide this support, including with the delivery of heavy artillery. He called on other countries to do the same.
Zelenskyy said on Telegram that he is grateful to Rutte for the constructive consultation, the decision to supply heavy weapons to the Ukrainian troops, and the support for the country’s candidacy for EU membership. “Thank you. This is very important to us,” said the president. According to him, it is necessary to impose even stricter sanctions “against Russian terrorism.”
“A lot has already been done. In terms of the amount of defense support provided, the Netherlands is among the top ten partners of our country. And I would like to note the decision of the Dutch government to provide our country with additional heavy weapons. We are grateful for that,” Zelenksyy said to the press after the meeting.
The Prime Minister said he was “deeply shocked” by the horrors and devastation wrought by the now-ousted Russian troops in neighborhoods like Butsha and Irpin. He was shown around these places near the capital before talking with Zelenskyy. There he spoke with people from the community.
The Prime Minister emphasized the great importance of bringing those responsible for the serious crimes committed in the Eastern European country to justice. “These appalling crimes must not go unpunished,” he said. A major international conference on truth-finding and justice in Ukraine is happening in The Hague on Thursday. Rutte hopes that it will contribute to the prosecution of those responsible. The Netherlands, the International Criminal Court, and the European Commission organize the conference.
Today I had the honour of meeting President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv. I also visited various places where the Russian army has left behind a horrific trail of death and destruction. I am deeply shocked by what I witnessed today. pic.twitter.com/QOGhbiNnkw— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) July 11, 2022
Reporting by ANP and NL Times