Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte promised Ukraine heavy weapons during a visit to Kyiv while also asking partner countries to do the same.
“Ukraine needs our military support. We must support Ukraine with modern precision weapons. I call on all my colleagues in Europe and other parts of the world to help Ukraine with heavy weapons. We ourselves will deliver heavy weapons, armored vehicles and self-propelled howitzers,” Rutte said.
The prime minister also called for economic support for Ukraine.
“We need to help Ukraine economically so that the Ukrainian economy can continue to function as much as possible under the current circumstances. We don’t know how long this difficult war will last, but we know that Ukraine will still need our support when it finally ends,” Rutte said.
He added that he is also calling on the international community to start negotiations on the reconstruction of Ukraine, which according to a report from the New York Times, will cost €750 billion or more.
During Rutte’s working visit to Ukraine, he visited Bucsa, Irpiny and Borogyanka, the settlements around Kyiv where the Ukrainian authorities found the bodies of a large number of killed civilians after the withdrawal of Russian troops. At the press conference held in Kyiv, he stated: None of those who have committed serious crimes in Ukraine can avoid justice.
“Today, I visited some of the places where Putin’s army left a terrible mark: ruins and death. I can’t even imagine how much suffering the occupiers caused while they were there,” the Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted Rutte as saying.
The Dutch prime minister added that a special conference organized by the European Commission and the International Criminal Court will be held in The Hague this week to ensure accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised at the press conference that “Ukraine is wasting no time in the next phase before the start of negotiations on EU membership. We quickly received candidate membership status, and I would like to personally thank Mark (Rutte) for supporting our candidacy. I know the decision was not easy, so I thank your government and society. For us, this is a really important indicator of who is really with us and who does things for us. We are wasting no time in the next phase before the start of negotiations on EU membership, further transforming our state to be ready to become a full member of the EU.”