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New Dutch foreign and defense ministers announce more aid during first visit to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 7, 2024 10:24 PM 2 min read
Dutch Defense Minister Ruben Brekelmans stands by a memorial wall honoring Ukrainian soldiers during his first diplomatic to Kyiv alongside Dutch Foreign Minister Caspar Veldkamp on July 7, 2024. (Ruben Brekelmans via X)
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The Netherlands's Foreign Minister Caspar Veldkamp and Defense Minister Ruben Brekelmans met with President Volodymyr Zelensky during their first diplomatic visit to Ukraine, announcing additional aid for Ukraine human rights investigations and missing persons forensics on July 7.

"My first working visit as the Netherlands' Foreign Minister, with a crucial purpose: to underline our unwavering support for Ukraine," Veldkamp wrote in a post on X. "This is of existential importance — the Russian aggression and destruction knows no limits."

During the visit, Veldkamp announced on X his government was providing 2 million euros ($2.2 million) to the International Commission on Missing Persons "to scale up Ukraine's capacity for forensic research, data collection, and analysis."

Another 8 million euros over two years ($8.8 million) in support will be directed to the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for fact-finding activities, Veldkamp added.

"Their credible reports on human rights violations in Ukraine, directly from war-torn communities, are crucial for global accountability efforts, led by (the Netherlands)," he said.

In April, Ukraine's Chief Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said Ukraine registers almost 37,000 people who are considered missing, including children, other civilians, and military personnel.

As of March 2024, Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office had collected pretrial information on over 128,000 victims of war crimes.

The visit to Ukraine was part of an event marking Ukraine's Navy Day, in which a delegation of foreign and Ukrainian officials accompanied Zelensky to Odesa to honor sailors who were killed.

Brekelmans also described visiting the Trypillia power plant near Kyiv which was destroyed by Russian missiles, laying a wreath at a memorial wall for soldiers in Kyiv, and meeting with Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries Serhiy Boyev.

After the Netherlands swore in a new coalition government on July 2, Brekelmans announced that his country's support for Ukraine would continue "for as long as needed."

The previous Dutch Defense Minister announced on June 21 that the Netherlands, together with another country, would supply Ukraine with components for a Patriot air defense system.

Netherlands to maintain support for Ukraine, new Dutch defense minister says
“The Netherlands remains committed to supporting Ukraine as much as we can, for as long as needed. We and our allies stand united in our resolve to return peace and security to Ukraine,” Ruben Brekelmans wrote on X.

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