Joint statement of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte met in Kyiv today during the working visit of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ukraine.

The leaders highlighted the upcoming 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands and stated their commitment to develop and further deepen the comprehensive bilateral partnership in all areas of mutual interest.

The two leaders recalled that relations between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands are based on shared values and principles of freedom, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. They reconfirmed their strong commitment to international law and the core principles on which European security is built, including sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and the freedom of States to choose or change their own security arrangements. 

Prime Minister Rutte reiterated unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and current military build-up near Ukrainian state borders. 

President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Rutte underlined the importance of a peaceful solution. Dialogue and diplomacy taking place in different formats, like in OSCE and NATO, play a crucial role in this process.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to maintaining pressure on Russia to end the temporary occupation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, including in the format of the International Crimea Platform. 

President Zelenskyy expressed his appreciation of the support provided by the Dutch side in rehabilitation of Ukrainian servicemen injured in the course of the ongoing armed conflict. Prime Minister Rutte announced that the Netherlands will extend this support, in order to provide additional injured Ukrainian servicemen with rehabilitative care within this programme.

The leaders committed to continue the pursuit of truth, justice and accountability for 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 and their loved ones. In this regard President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Rutte also underlined the importance of the recent oral hearing in the proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights against the Russian Federation for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 as an important milestone towards establishing justice.  

In line with the joint statement following the 23rd EU-Ukraine Summit, the leaders acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomed its European choice, as stated in the Association Agreement and in the context of its entry into force in September 2017, after the December 2016 decision by the EU Heads of State or Government. The leaders recalled that the effective implementation of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) which, linked to the broader process of regulatory approximation and related necessary reforms, contributes to establishing conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations between Ukraine and the EU leading to Ukraine's further gradual economic integration in the EU Internal Market, as envisaged in the Association Agreement. 

They noted the importance of further enhancing cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the area of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and of Ukraine’s increased convergence with Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The leaders welcomed recent EU support provided to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and underlined their commitment to explore further cooperation, including in the area of professional military education. They recalled their joint commitment to promote the principles enshrined in the Association Agreement, including Article 7(2). In this context, they noted Ukraine’s increased alignment with the EU's positions and statements. The leaders acknowledged the substantial progress made by Ukraine in its reform process and agreed on the need to further enhance these efforts. 

The two leaders stressed the importance of working together against any potential efforts by third parties to use energy as a weapon, as well as the importance of the long-term continuation of gas transit through Ukraine. They underlined their common objective of strengthening energy security and the green transition in Ukraine and the EU as well as expressed their support for the progressive integration of Ukraine with the EU gas and electricity markets. 

Prime Minister Rutte expressed his support to maintaining Ukrainian efforts aimed at fostering systemic transformation of the country and strengthening its resilience. Prime Minister Rutte was encouraged by the vibrant civil society, which plays a vital role in the reform process in Ukraine. In support of the important ongoing reforms Prime Minister Rutte announced that the Netherlands will increase its financial contributions to Ukrainian NGO’s, as well as to UNDP activities in support of Security and Justice in conflict affected eastern Ukraine. 

In light of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Prime Minister Rutte stands by decisions taken at the Bucharest Summit and subsequent summits. Prime Minister Rutte firmly supports Ukraine’s right to decide its own future and foreign policy free from outside interference. Ukraine’s status as Enhanced Opportunities Partner gives further impetus to strengthening the already wide-ranging NATO-Ukraine  cooperation, including in the Black Sea region. Prime Minister Rutte highly values Ukraine’s important contributions to Allied operations. These efforts demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment and capability to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security. Prime Minister Rutte commends Ukraine for the significant reforms already implemented and will continue to encourage and support Ukraine in these efforts, including in the security and defence sector, with regard to civilian control and democratic oversight.  

Following the cyberattack against Ukraine on 14 January, the Netherlands stands ready to provide technical cyber assistance to Ukraine. The two leaders expressed their interest in advancing cooperation on cyber issues as well as on other matters of mutual concern in the face of the contemporary challenges, including hybrid threats and fight against disinformation. 

The two leaders highlighted opportunities for enhancing cooperation in the areas of circular economy, water and waste management, renewable energy, IT, space technologies and inland waterways.

The leaders noted the potential for further bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture, particularly by stimulating innovation. They stressed the importance of holding a meeting of the Ukrainian – Dutch Working Group on Agriculture as soon as the epidemiological situation allows. Prime Minister Rutte furthermore expressed that the Netherlands intends to organize a mission for Dutch companies that are interested in doing business in Ukraine.

The leaders expressed their interest in advancing bilateral cooperation in healthcare, particularly in order to secure equitable access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines. In this light, The Netherlands will donate approximately 400.000 Euros to the Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan (OCHA), for its response to the pandemic in Eastern Ukraine. The leaders also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and Philips Medical Systems aimed at improving quality of medical services in Ukraine.