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Zelensky meets Dutch, Belgian prime ministers, signs joint declaration

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 4, 2023 6:58 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Belgian PM Alexander de Croo during Zelensky's visit to The Hague, the Netherlands, on May 4, 2023. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Belgian PM Alexander de Croo signed a joint declaration following May 4 trilateral talks in The Hague.

According to Presidential Office, the document includes the countries' pledges to continue providing Ukraine with defense aid, support the Ukrainian peace formula and contribute to imposing additional sanctions against Russia over its invasion.

The declaration also claims the support of Belgium and the Netherlands for holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and their commitment to strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities in the long term.

"Until Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, Belgium and the Netherlands remain committed to supporting Ukraine on its path to further Euro-Atlantic integration and strengthening Ukraine's ability to defend itself against current Russian military aggression and any future threat," reads the document.

Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy head of the President's Office, said the declaration recorded the need to consider the issue of security guarantees for Ukraine during the Vilnius NATO summit, calling it a "fundamental" achievement.

The document also recognized Ukraine's security as being "of great importance" for NATO, a similar statement to the one that was included in the Madrid Declaration regarding Finland and Sweden, with the former having recently become the alliance's member.

"With the adoption of today's Joint Declaration, we crossed a symbolic border - we formalized the support of Ukraine in the Euro-Atlantic direction by 16 NATO member states, which the Netherlands has joined," Zhovkva said on Facebook following the leaders' meeting.

Ukraine's Zelensky arrived in The Hague on May 4, where he gave a speech at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and met with Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands.

Zelensky criticizes idea of ‘hybrid’ tribunal during speech at the Hague
During his speech to the Hague on May 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the idea of a hybrid tribunal to punish Russian war crimes.
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