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Dutch PM: Netherlands actively working on bilateral security guarantees for Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 17, 2024 4:18 PM 2 min read
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte arrives at the European Council summit at Batiment Europa on Dec. 14, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
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The Netherlands is actively working with Kyiv on a bilateral agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a Kyiv Independent reporter on Feb. 17.

“We are discussing intensely now with (President) Volodymyr Zelensky’s team on coming up with security guarantees... And I’m cautiously optimistic that we can close these discussions pretty soon,” Rutte said in press comments at the Munich Security Conference.

Earlier this week, President Zelensky signed a bilateral agreement on security cooperation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. Zelensky signed a similar deal with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin earlier on Feb. 16 and with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Kyiv in January.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told the Norwegian News Agency on Feb. 16 that he expects to sign a bilateral agreement with Ukraine on security guarantees in the coming weeks.

The Group of Seven (G7) countries and several other partners have pledged to provide security guarantees to Ukraine via bilateral treaties. The security guarantees would entail explicit and long-lasting obligations, as well as bolster Ukraine's ability to resist Russian aggression. The guarantees would also cover sanctions, financial aid, and post-war reconstruction.

Zelensky met with Rutte on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, discussing the security guarantees agreement, the Netherlands' further defense aid to Ukraine, and Kyiv's EuroAtlantic integration, among other issues, the Presidential Office reported.

The Ukrainian president thanked the Dutch leader for his country's support and briefed him on the situation on Ukraine's battlefield.

Zelensky and Rutte discussed Ukraine's needs in air defense and artillery capabilities, the Netherlands' role in providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and training Ukrainian pilots, as well as Kyiv's efforts in gathering support for Zelensky's peace formula.

Zelensky in Munich: ‘If Ukraine left alone, Russia will destroy us’
“Keeping Ukraine in the artificial deficits of weapons, particularly in a deficit of artillery and long-range capabilities, allows (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
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