Premier says Netherlands 'stepping up' support for Kyiv

'More weapons, more sanctions, and more isolation for Russia,' Rutte says after talk with Ukraine's Zelenskyy.

Premier says Netherlands 'stepping up' support for Kyiv

The Netherlands is "stepping up" its support to Kyiv, the country’s prime minister said on Monday after speaking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over phone.

“We are stepping up our support for Ukraine. More weapons, more sanctions, and more isolation for Russia,” Mark Rutte said on Twitter.

"I stressed this once again when speaking to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in response to Russia’s mobilisation and illegitimate referenda. Protecting Europe is crucial for our security," he added.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, calling up to 300,000 reservists for deployment to Ukraine, a move seen as escalation in the war that began in February.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s self-declared republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, along with Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, are holding referendums on joining Russia, a move the international community says is illegal and would not be recognized.

Zelenskyy said he had a "productive talk" with Rutte. "Discussed the situation at the front & further defense support for Ukraine. & are unanimous: the world should react decisively to sham referenda & increase sanctions pressure on RF. Coordinated support for initiatives within the UN," he tweeted.

Besides joining EU sanctions on Moscow and providing Kyiv with weapons, the Netherlands is supporting Ukraine and neighboring countries by helping war victims – providing humanitarian aid funding, medicines and aid supplies.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly last week, Rutte had called on UN members to stand firm for Ukraine’s freedom and stop the war.

Hüseyin Demir