Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte pledged more military equipment to the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit on Friday to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa.
The Netherlands will help Ukraine obtain four patrol boats and will also supply more missiles for use in its Patriot air defence system.
Rutte has already visited Kyiv twice since the outbreak of war, but this time he went only to Odessa, an important southern port city on the Black Sea and a key hub for goods transport. The patrol boats should ensure that grain exports can continue, Rutte said at a press meeting with Zelensky.
Since winter is coming “and the Russians will do everything they can to keep hitting Ukraine as hard as possible,” the Netherlands is going to supply more Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, according to Rutte. He declined to mention any numbers.
The Netherlands, together with Germany, has already supplied Ukraine with a Patriot system to repel Russian air strikes. However, the missiles are running out because of the ongoing attacks, although other countries are also supplying the Ukrainian army with Patriots missiles.
Further, the Netherlands is supplying Kyiv with a new humanitarian support package.
Rutte stressed that the Netherlands “will continue to support the country, and this is crucial even when other crises arise elsewhere.” He was referring to Israel, which is at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip following last weekend’s attack in southern Israel.
According to Rutte, the Netherlands will not be distracted by this. “It should be and-and and not one above the other,” the Dutch Prime Minister said, noting that both conflicts primarily affected innocent civilians.