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Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Mark Rutte in Kyiv

17 Feb, 2023
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Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Mark Rutte in Kyiv

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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, who is on a visit to Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Mark Rutte is a great friend of Ukraine, who has already visited our country for the second time during the full-scale war.

"And, as always, these are meaningful and strong negotiations. I am very grateful to you. Ukraine has a lot to thank the Netherlands for: society, government, parliament. This is the support for our state and the personal leadership of the Prime Minister, and it is encouraging," the President of Ukraine said, addressing the head of the Dutch government during a joint meeting with media representatives following the talks in Kyiv.

According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Netherlands is one of the leaders in helping Ukraine in the military, financial, humanitarian, and legal spheres. In 2023 alone, the Netherlands allocated about €2.5 billion in financial support for this purpose.

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"It is important that our interaction is based on a common vision of Europe and European security, on the common values of Ukraine and the Netherlands. Freedom, respect for human rights, justice, peaceful neighborliness of nations are the foundation of our countries and our attitude to international relations," the Head of State emphasized.

During the meeting in Kyiv, the parties discussed opportunities to strengthen the protection of common priorities.

The President expressed gratitude for the recent decision of The Hague to transfer Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, which will strengthen the defense of our skies. The Head of State also noted the powerful contribution of the Netherlands to the tank coalition.

"The Netherlands, together with the partners - Germany and Denmark - are preparing to hand over about 100 Leopard tanks to Ukraine. This is a powerful support for Ukraine. Our common priority is to speed up the delivery of this assistance to Ukrainian warriors as much as possible," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The interlocutors also discussed other weaponry needs of Ukraine to protect the whole of Europe from Russian revanchism.

"We have a common understanding with the Netherlands that there can be no taboos regarding the supply of weapons to our army and Ukraine, because it is the support and protection of our sovereignty," the Head of State emphasized.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mark Rutte also discussed the Netherlands' support for the Ukrainian Peace Formula, in particular, leadership in the implementation of the point that provides for the restoration of justice.

"This is one of the key prerequisites for restoring reliable security for Ukraine, Europe and the entire free world. The aggressor must be held accountable for the aggression, in particular, all murderers, terrorists and torturers must be brought to justice. And I am confident that it will happen," the President noted.

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He emphasized that it was the Netherlands that became the undisputed world leader in organizing the international investigation of war crimes committed by the Russian Federation and international work to bring the murderers to justice.

"In this context, we discussed the prospects of establishing a special tribunal in The Hague for the crime of Russian aggression. And we expect that in the near future there will be appropriate decisions on the establishment of the office of the reparations mechanism," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

In addition, the agenda of the talks between the President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in Kyiv included strengthening sanctions against Russia, in particular the tenth EU sanctions package.

"We must not allow even the slightest opportunity for Russia and its economy to adapt to the sanctions already imposed or for the terrorist state to expect that the intensity of sanctions pressure may decrease. And the tenth package of EU sanctions must be effective - it is important for us," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

According to the Head of State, the time has come to introduce powerful sanctions against the Russian nuclear sphere, missile industry and all industries and enterprises, including the IT sector, that contribute to the implementation of the Russian missile program or the production of drones, as well as against Russian propagandists and all those associated with them. In addition, it is necessary to further reduce the price cap of Russian oil and oil products to bring the end of the aggression closer.

The President of Ukraine thanked the Netherlands for supporting the global peace summit, the organization of which is about to begin.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said that he counts on the support of the Netherlands in the decision to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU this year.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mark Rutte reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening joint efforts to ensure further progress towards the implementation of NATO standards and Ukraine's integration into the Alliance. The leaders also emphasized the importance of building consensus within NATO to further broaden and deepen the relationship between the Alliance and Ukraine, as well as long-term support now and in the future, during the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius.

"Of course, we discussed the reconstruction of our country and the restoration of energy infrastructure. The Netherlands is an active ally in this task. Drinking water, agriculture and the healthcare system are the spheres in which the Netherlands wants to help us and will help us because they have unique expertise," the Head of State said.

The interlocutors also focused on the issue of preventing athletes of the terrorist state from participating in international competitions and the Olympic Games.

"Defending our common values and priorities, we must understand that Russia is trying to use everything it can to intensify its aggression and weaken our partners and the entire international community. Unfortunately, the Olympic movement and international sports organizations have become another target of the terrorist state and its propaganda ambitions," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The President of Ukraine expressed gratitude to the head of the Dutch government for important and fruitful negotiations.

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For his part, Mark Rutte noted that on the 12th month of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there are still no signs that the Russian President will abandon the aggression. At the same time, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands noted the resilience of Ukrainians in the fight against the enemy.

"We also recognize that you are fighting for us, for our freedom and security, for our values and way of life. And we are giving everything necessary to ensure that our joint work continues. Including within NATO and the European Union – so that there is as much help as needed in terms of volume and time," Mark Rutte added.

According to him, this includes military support and the provision of Leopard 2 tanks, Patriot air defense systems, and relevant training and exercises for the Ukrainian military. The Prime Minister emphasized that the Netherlands also provides humanitarian and financial support, assisting in the restoration of critical infrastructure.

Mark Rutte also announced the creation of the International Center for the Investigation of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, which will collect evidence of crimes.


The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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