The Netherlands will provide additional support to Ukraine for the country’s war effort and reconstruction. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren made that pledge on Monday during their joint visit to Kyiv.
In the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, Ms Schreinemacher and Ms Ollongren saw the devastation caused by Russia’s aggression. In Kyiv they met with several members of the Ukrainian government, and stressed that the Dutch government would continue to support Ukraine by all possible means. This will not be limited to resources needed to pursue the war effort. The ministers also asked the Ukrainian authorities what they need to help the Ukrainian people and rebuild the country.
Support package to start reconstruction
Ever since the war began six months ago, the Netherlands has been providing Ukraine with humanitarian, military and financial-economic support. During the visit Ms Schreinemacher, the Dutch minister responsible for coordinating aid for Ukrainian reconstruction, announced a new support package.
She will for example release €65 million for aid and investment in Ukraine. This will include cofinancing Dutch companies’ efforts to rebuild infrastructure such as bridges, dikes and hospitals in areas affected by the war. The funds will also be used to enable Ukrainian SMEs to invest in their businesses.
Additional money (€10 million) will be earmarked to clear landmines and other explosive remnants of war.
Minister Schreinemacher: ‘Demining is vital. Only once the explosives are dismantled can people return safely to their homes or farms and begin work on recovery.’
In addition, the minister is making €1 million available to support initial design plans for rebuilding three cities: Kherson, Odesa and Mykolaiv. The Association of Netherlands Municipalities will help involve a broad, diverse group of stakeholders in the development and implementation of these plans, including young people, women and refugees.
Another €2.5 million will go to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to share knowledge with bodies such as the National Bank of Ukraine concerning macroeconomic reforms, good governance and the rule of law. Ms Schreinemacher will also give €2 million to the United Nations Population Fund for psychosocial support to victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
In Kyiv, Ms Schreinemacher met with Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Yulia Svyrydenko. She also met with the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine , Kyrylo Shevchenko.
Ms Ollongren spoke with Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, Oleksii Reznikov, and Minister for Veterans Affairs Yuliia Laputina. Since the start of the war the Netherlands has given Ukraine materiel, arms, ammunition and equipment with a book value of over €210 million. During her various meetings, Ms Ollongren promised to continue providing this kind of support to Ukraine.
On Saturday, 90 Dutch military personnel left for the UK, where they will give Ukrainian troops basic military training. ‘Training the Ukrainian armed forces is of crucial importance,’ said Ms Ollongren. ‘We will continue to help with this in the future.’
The Netherlands has supplied equipment to the Ukrainian mine clearance service, and together with a partner country is now exploring opportunities to provide the agency with knowledge and training.
Russian war crimes must not go unpunished. A forensic team from the Dutch Ministry of Defence was deployed in May to gather evidence. Ms Ollongren aims to deploy the team again this autumn, and she supports the plan for a rotation system involving various countries, coordinated by the International Criminal Court (ICC). She has also offered to share knowledge and experience with Ukraine on care services for veterans.
According to Ms Ollongren, it is also time to start thinking about new instruments for the next phase of support. Speaking with her Ukrainian counterpart, the minister discussed longer-term support measures which, for example, would enable the direct purchase of equipment from the defence industry. Together, Ukraine and the UK have established a fund for this purpose. The Netherlands welcomes this initiative and is currently looking into making a contribution.
Minister Ollongren: ‘Ukraine is not alone in this struggle. The Netherlands will continue supporting Ukraine so that Russia’s aggression can be brought to a halt and peace can return.’