Hoekstra on Putin speech: ‘This is about something bigger than Ukraine’

With his speech this morning, Russian President Putin chooses to further escalate the war with Ukraine. Thats what Foreign Minister Hoekstra said in New York. Hes there for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

Hoekstra spoke of โ€œa completely unjustified war, in which Putin further escalates with those fake referendums and partial mobilizationโ€.

According to the minister, nothing will change the position of the Netherlands and other countries that support Ukraine. โ€œWere not going to give in. There is a lot at stake here, not just for Ukraine. This is also about peace and security in our own Europe, our own continent.โ€

Hoekstra emphasized that the Netherlands will continue to provide Ukraine with weapons, aid and money. He endorsed the words of US President Biden who said in New York that the world ultimately belongs to all 193 countries.

During his UN speech, Biden lashed out at Putin:

โ€œCountries go beyond their borders themselves, decide for themselves what happens on their territory. What Putin is doing now is completely contrary to that,โ€ says Hoekstra.

The minister also said that the Netherlands and other Western countries continue to seek support for measures against Putin. โ€œWe have to take the rest of the world with us, even far from Europe. Where people might think: is this about us? My answer is: yes, this concerns everyone.โ€

In addition to direct help, the Netherlands remains committed to taking further punitive measures against Russia. โ€œThat takes a long time. There are also countries that have other concerns that are less pronounced.โ€

Hoekstra assumes that the war in Ukraine will last for quite some time. โ€œIts not a matter of a few months, is my valuation. Determination is needed, from the Netherlands, from Europe and from a lot of countries here in New York.โ€

Panic response

Earlier today, Prime Minister Rutte also responded to Putins speech announcing partial mobilization. Prime Minister Rutte calls Putins mobilization call โ€œpanicโ€.

โ€œYou can see that Ukraine is starting to act successfully against Russia with Western support,โ€ Rutte said prior to the debate about the Prinsjesdag plans. โ€œThere is a kind of panic reaction.โ€

The prime minister also reacted laconically to Russias threat to deploy nuclear weapons. โ€œThat leaves us fairly Siberian cold, to stay in Russian terms.โ€