President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte who visited Ukraine for first time since invasion.

The Head of State greeted the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in Ukraine and emphasized that the meaningful negotiations that took place once again proved the willingness of the two countries to work jointly and as efficiently as possible in the interests of the whole of Europe.

“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 very grateful for that,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives following the meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister.

Mark Rutte emphasized that Ukraine is going through difficult times today, and it is also a difficult time for the whole of Europe. He expressed his respect for the Ukrainian people, who are courageously and decisively fighting against Russian aggression.

“My visit today has only increased my respect for the Ukrainian people. They deserve our full and enduring support in every possible area. In the years ahead Ukraine can continue to count on us politically, militarily and economically,” Rutte wrote on Twitter.

During the meeting, the parties discussed issues about financial support and reconstruction, EU membership, the situation on the front, and options for its development.

“We must do everything possible to oust all the occupiers as soon as possible, restore normal democratic life, and preferably throughout the territory of our independent state. Today we also discussed with the Prime Minister what new steps can ensure the realization of this goal, including defense, sanctions and economic ones,” the Head of State said.

“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.  These appalling crimes must not go unpunished. This is also the subject of the Ukraine Accountability Conference which will be held later this week in The Hague. The conference is an initiative of the Dutch government, the @IntlCrimCourt and the @EU_commission,” the Dutch Prime Minister wrote on his Twitter account.

Dutch financial support

Special attention was paid during the negotiations to the issue of restoration of Ukraine. As the President noted, it is not only about what needs to be done when peace is achieved, but also about what is needed right now – strengthening security, revitalizing the economy, preparing the education system for the new school year and the entire country for the new heating season.

“I am confident that the participation of the Netherlands in the reconstruction of Ukraine will be able to strengthen not only our country, but also Dutch society and companies. We talked about recovery. The Netherlands will think about it, but they are paying attention to our Kherson region,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.

The President recalled the recent allocation by the Netherlands of 200 million euros of additional financial support for Ukraine, which will help ensure the financing of payments for Ukrainian teachers, doctors and pensioners.

Mark Rutte said the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, which was discussed in detail during the recent Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano (Switzerland) is an important.

He also emphasized the importance of solving the issue of exports of Ukrainian agricultural products ceased due to Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea ports.

“I want to tell President Zelenskyy once again that the Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine in all possible ways. You can count on us now, as well as in the future,” the Prime Minister summed up.

Sanctions

The Netherlands made a significant contribution to increasing sanctions pressure on Russia for the war waged against the country.

“Ukraine and the Netherlands equally understand the need to protect international law, the rule of law in every country, the rights and liberties of people. And while Russia is trying to destroy all this, we must work for an even greater strengthening of sanctions against Russian terrorism,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

Mark Rutte said the Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine politically, strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and put pressure on the leadership of Russia. They will also continue to provide the country with military aid, including modern weapons and equipment.

“And I again call on all my colleagues in Europe and beyond to help Ukraine with heavy weapons,” the Prime Minister said.

EU membership

The President noted the personal principles and leadership of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in the issue of sustainable development of Europe and thanked Mark Rutte’s government for supporting granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.

“United Europe can be truly protected and stable only together with Ukraine,” the Head of State emphasized.

“Further transformation of our state for the sake of readiness to become a full member of the European Union is taking place even now, in a difficult situation, in the conditions of a full-scale war. And I am grateful to the Prime Minister for supporting our country on the European path,” added Volodymyr Zelenskyy.