Prime Minister Rutte is visiting Kiev, the capital of Ukraine today. With his visit, he would like to express his support for the Ukrainian people and the government of President Zelensky, whom he spoke to.
“Of course, weve all seen the photos, but to be here for ourselves… “, said Rutte on a visit to the ruined city of Irpin. “The complete opposite of civilization, of decency. That one country invades another country and causes this kind of enormous chaos. So many people have died. Its really terrible.”
Accompanied by the mayor, Rutte was told about the siege of the city, the reception of refugees and the repair work that has now begun. For example, he was told that no school had made it through the battle without damage, but they still hope to be able to welcome all children again on 1 September. In Borodyanka, he also spoke with the mayor.
Rutte spoke to the press in Irpin near a bombed apartment building:
This is the first time Rutte has visited Ukraine since the country was attacked by neighbouring Russia on February 24. In May, Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs already visited the country.
In June, French President Macron, German Chancellor Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Draghi visited Kiev to talk to Zelensky.
In the afternoon, a press conference with President Zelensky followed. Among other things, this was about Dutch support for the country.
So far, the Netherlands has supplied more than 172.7 million euros in military goods, Minister Ollongren of Defence recently reported to the House of Representatives. Three more armoured howitzers will be sent to Ukraine, bringing the number to eight in total. It concerns the heaviest artillery in the Dutch army.
When asked whether the Netherlands can do even more, Rutte replied that the Netherlands is already supplying at the expense of its own stocks. “The Netherlands will also have to replenish stocks, but it is so important that we now help here and ensure that Ukraine can defend itself,” said the Prime Minister. “It wont stop.”