Dutch parliament members visit Kyiv
Several members of parliament serving on the Tweede Kamer’s Foreign Affairs Committee visited the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, a spokesperson for the Tweede Kamer confirmed. The delegation met there with representatives of the country’s government.
It was the first time since the outbreak of the war that a parliamentary committee visited Ukraine. The MPs who traveled to Kyiv include committee leader Rudmer Heerema (VVD), Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66), Kati Piri (PvdA), Ruben Brekelmans (VVD) and Agnes Mulder (CDA). In the past year, several members of the Cabinet traveled to the capital, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra was the last minister to visit Kyiv in November.
Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the president’s office, issued a statement to thank the committee members and Dutch Parliament for its support. During the meeting, he updated the MPs on the current security situation, the Ukrainian government said.
He also called on the Dutch delegation to provide more aid, including weapons. The Russians intensified their invasion of Ukraine over a year ago, and Kyiv expects Russia to launch a new major offensive in Ukraine in the very near future.
“Ukraine is grateful for the significant assistance provided by the Dutch Parliament in countering Russian armed aggression: financial, economic, humanitarian, military, and political,” Zhovkva said. “The decision of the Parliament in support of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership was of particular importance. The voice of the Netherlands played one of the crucial roles in securing a consensus in the European Council on this issue.”
Ukraine was granted candidate status for membership of the European Union last year after the invasion. Zhovkva told the delegation about its progress and said that Ukraine would like to start accession talks with the EU as early as this year.
Support for Ukraine has been strong in the Tweede Kamer. An overwhelming majority supports the Dutch government’s policy of sending weapons, equipment, and other forms of aid and relief.
The Netherlands has already given Ukraine over a billion euros in military aid.
Reporting by ANP