Zelenskyy in the Netherlands: key takeaways

May 5,2023 515
Zelenskyy in the Netherlands: key takeaways

On Thursday, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Netherlands, where he had quite a number of meetings, speeches and media encounters. Below are key takeaways from the visit based on the President’s official website.

At a meeting with the Dutch House of Representatives speaker, Vera Bergkamp, and President of the Senate Jan Anthonie Bruijn, the Ukrainian leader thanked the leaders of the Dutch Parliament for its clear and active position in support of Ukraine and the important steps that helped it to repel Russian aggression.

“The Netherlands today is among the leaders of support for Ukraine and one of our key allies in protecting the values of freedom,” Zelenskyy said.

Special attention during the meeting was paid to the preparations for the NATO summit in Vilnius. Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of making concrete decisions at the summit on Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance and security guarantees for Ukraine until it becomes a NATO member.

Speaking with International Criminal Court (ICC) President Piotr Hofmański and Registrar Osvaldo Zavala Giler, Zelenskyy stressed that bringing to justice all those responsible for war crimes against humanity and genocide of the Ukrainian people is a matter of principle for Ukraine.

“A result for us is only concrete sentences for all Russian war criminals, including the top leadership of the aggressor country,” he said.

In this context, he praised the ICC work, noting the importance of the decision to issue arrest warrants for Russia’s president and children’s rights commissioner on charges of deporting Ukrainian children.

“These crimes require special, priority attention. We must increase pressure on Russia to stop mass deportations and create a universal mechanism for protecting children,” said Zelenskyy.

Addressing Dutch lawmakers in the Parliament, Zelenskyy thanked all of them, “your great country and your leadership. I’m grateful to you for the fact that we’ve achieved the greatest unity in Europe, which people only dreamed of for decades. And it wouldn’t have happened without the Netherlands – without your leadership.”

“I’m grateful to you that The Hague, a city associated with international law in the world, is becoming a real hub of justice. Justice in the name of all those who suffered from aggression and other international crimes.”

He also thanked the Netherlands for its leadership in initiating the delivery of the Panzerhaubitze 2000, as well as for its Patriot system and other weapons.

“We remember that the Netherlands was the first to say that the F16 – is not a taboo,” the President stressed.

Zelenskyy delivered a speech to representatives of the Dutch public, political and expert circles and international institutions based in The Hague. He said, “Of course, we all want to see another Vladimir here, in The Hague. The one who deserves to be sentenced for his criminal actions right here, in the capital of international law.”

The President of Ukraine met with the Dutch and Belgian prime ministers, Mark Rutte and Alexander De Croo, respectively, both one-on-one and in a trilateral format.

Two declarations were adopted:

Following the talks, Zelenskyy told the media, “We are meeting here in The Hague to bring peace closer and restore justice. We need justice.”

He said Ukraine continues to work on establishing a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression, and any hybrid formats of such a tribunal are unacceptable.

“We will work without any hybrid formats; we will work on a concrete tribunal to ensure accountability for their crimes, murders, and torture. We understand who gave the orders. These people must not be untouchable. This is very important for us; this is one of the fundamental issues,” Zelenskyy said.

He also said that the primary purpose of his foreign visits is to ensure the prompt provision of the necessary weapons to the Ukrainian army to repel Russian aggression and liberate all Ukrainian lands.

“Our task today is to supply our military with weapons. This was my mission yesterday [in Finland]. This is my mission today as well. We planned these visits to strengthen our army. One of the aspects is security. The second aspect is NATO and European integration,” Zelenskyy explained.

During an audience with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the leader of Ukraine thanked His Majesty for the comprehensive support of the Netherlands for Ukraine in defense of its freedom and independence, as well as for the personal care of the King and the Royal Family for Ukrainians who came to the Netherlands seeking refuge from the war.

“Since the first days of Russia’s attack, we have felt that the Netherlands and the entire Dutch people stand with Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

The President also visited the Dutch Royal Air Force base, where he met with Ukrainian soldiers and cadets undergoing training in the Netherlands, as well as with wounded defenders of Ukraine undergoing rehabilitation in Dutch medical institutions.

“Here and now, we see what help and life protection are. This is the most honorable mission – doing everything for life to prevail,” said Zelenskyy.

With Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, Volodymyr Zelenskyy reviewed samples of military equipment being transferred to Ukraine.

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