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Dutch FM: Ukraine 'will be finished' if it cannot fight Russia

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 6, 2023 4:21 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot in Kyiv on Dec. 5, 2023. (Hanke Bruins Slot / X)
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Ukraine has no choice but to keep fighting the Russian invasion, since an end to their fight would mean the end of their country, Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot told Dutch radio station BNR on Dec. 5.

The foreign minister's visit to Kyiv comes amid growing disunity within the European Union regarding military and financial support to Ukraine, and weeks after a Dutch parliamentary election in the far-right Party for Freedom emerged as the biggest political force.

"If they stop fighting, Russia will win the war, and Russia will occupy all of Ukraine," Bruins Slot said in an interview following her visit to President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Dec. 5.

Ukrainians "know that if they stop fighting, then their country will be finished," and Europe as we currently know it "will be over too," Bruins Slot said.

The foreign minister said she was "convinced that Russia will not stop at the border" of Ukraine, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is "simply waiting" for Europe to lose focus.

Ukraine is fighting not only for its own freedom but also for the safety and security of the European continent, Bruins Slot said.

The Dutch government has earmarked 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in funding for Ukraine, Bruins Slot said during her visit to Kyiv, where she met with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

"Your fight is our fight. Your security is our security. That's why the Dutch government has allocated 2.5 billion euros to support Ukraine in 2024," Bruins Slot said.

Following the electoral victory of Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Dutch elections on Nov. 22, there has been concern that aid for Ukraine from the Netherlands may decrease.

Wilders is close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and is against the Netherlands continuing to provide support to Ukraine.

"The PVV is now the largest party and they have never been enthusiastic about support to Ukraine. They have even been pro-Russia at times. So that has me worried," Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Nov. 24.

Wilders would need to build a coalition in order to govern the Netherlands, and his ability to become prime minister is not guaranteed. Coalition talks are ongoing.

Pistorius: Arms industry increasing capacity, Germany delivers ‘what it can’
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius rejected the notion that Ukraine receives “too little to win and too much to lose” in terms of military aid from its partners during an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF on Dec. 5.
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