The Netherlands Minister of Defence and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation pledge further support for Ukraine.
News Release, The Hague, 22 August 2022: The Netherlands will provide Ukraine with additional support in the war the country is facing, and for the country’s reconstruction. Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher made this pledge on Monday during a joint visit to Kyiv. They visited the cities of Irpin and Bucha, witnessing the devastation caused by the Russian invasion of the country. Minister Ollongren also visited Hostomel airport, which saw fierce fighting at the beginning of the year.
In Kyiv, the politicians spoke to several members of the Ukrainian cabinet. In these talks, they both stressed that the Dutch government continues to support Ukraine by all means possible. This support will not be limited to the resources needed to sustain the fighting. The Ukrainian authorities were also asked to indicate what they need in order to help the population and to rebuild the country.
Defence Minister Ollongren spoke to the Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksij Reznikov and his colleague Yulia Laputina, Minister for Veterans Affairs, among others. Since the beginning of the war, the Netherlands has provided materiel, weapons, ammunition and equipment with a book value of over 210 million Euros. Minister Ollongren promised that the Netherlands would continue to lend Ukraine this type of support. Furthermore, Ollongren offered to share knowledge and experience regarding veteran care.
Basic military training: At present, 90 Dutch military personnel are in the United Kingdom to give basic military training to Ukrainian soldiers. The minister stated that training the Ukrainian armed forces is of great importance, and that the Netherlands will continue to contribute to this training in the future.
The Netherlands has also provided equipment to the Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal service, and together with a partner country is investigating the possibilities for support to Ukraine through related training and sharing expertise.
Forensic Team: Russian war crimes must not go unpunished. In May of this year, a forensic team from the Netherlands Ministry of Defence was therefore sent to Ukraine to gather evidence. Ollongren is currently exploring whether this team can be deployed again in the autumn. The Netherlands also supports the initiative for a rotation scheme in which several countries contribute, coordinated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to the minister, it is also time to think about the next phase of the conflict, and other instruments. With her Ukrainian counterpart, Ollongren discussed sustained support, which would enable, among other things, direct procurement of materiel from the defence industry. To this end, Ukraine has set up a fund together with the United Kingdom. The Netherlands is in favour of this initiative and is currently looking into the options for contributing to this fund. “Ukraine is not alone in its battle. The Netherlands continues to support Ukraine in its fight to combat Russian aggression and see peace restored”, said Minister Ollongren.
Aid package to start reconstruction: Since the beginning of the war, which has now been going on for six months, the Netherlands has been providing humanitarian, military and financial-economic aid. During the visit to Kyiv, Minister Schreinemacher, as the coordinating representative for the reconstruction of Ukraine, announced a new aid package. This aid package makes available 65 million Euros for aid and investment in Ukraine.
Additional funds (10 million Euros) will also be allocated to projects aimed at clearing mines and other explosive ordnances left by the war. Furthermore, the Netherlands has reserved 1 million Euros to support the first plans for reconstruction of the municipalities of Kherson, Odesa and Mykolaiv. The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, VNG) will help to develop and implement these plans.
Sexual and gender-related violence: A further 2.5 million Euros will be pledged to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the provision of expertise in the fields of macro-economic reform, good governance and the rule of law, for example to the Ukrainian Central Bank. Schreinemacher also announced that 2 million Euros will go to the United Nations Population Fund in support of psychosocial support for victims of sexual and gender-related violence.