‘Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people,’ says Dutch prime minister
Russia has launched what many are calling a ‘full scale invasion’ of Ukraine, and reports suggest the first shelling and missiles were launched into the country just minutes after president Vladimir Putin announced the military operation, shortly before 6am Moscow Time.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte issued a statement after the news broke saying the Netherlands strongly condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine. ‘We are in close contact with EU/Nato and other allies. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people,’ Rutte said on Twitter.
‘Glad to help Ukraine: Dutch military goods will soon be on their way and our cyber experts are ready to assist,’ Rutte said in a message on Wednesday night, before the invasion started.
Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said Russia’s action is ‘an act of war, for which Russia will pay a heavy price.’
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European council president Charles Michel and EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen have issued a joint statement condemning Russia’s ‘unprecedented and unprovoked military aggression’
‘By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability. We deplore the loss of life and the human suffering,’ the statement said.
Michel has called an emergency session of the council for later on Thursday.
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Last week, the Dutch cabinet agreed to supply 100 sniper rifles, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 3,000 helmets, 2,000 bullet proof vests, and several weapon and mine detection systems to Ukraine.
The decision was taken following a request from Ukraine for military support and the items on the list are in line with EU rules for arms exports, Hoekstra said on Friday.
If you a Ukrainian national living in the Netherlands and would you like to share your story, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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