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Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands visited Ukraine
01 March 2024 16:45

On 1st March 2024 in Kharkiv city the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte signed the Agreement on security cooperation between Ukraine and the Netherlands. This document formalizes the full spectrum of interaction between Ukraine and the Netherlands for the next 10 years. It also defines the volume of defense support to Ukraine for the current year, amounting to 2 billion Euro. The document includes a powerful defense chapter on providing Ukraine with modern military equipment and supporting the defense industry.

In Kharkiv President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Rutte visited the neighbourhood damaged by Russian shelling. In particular, they attended a multi-storey residential building at 9b Akademika Proskury Street, which was destroyed by a massive Russian shelling on 23 January 2024. Five people were killed and 14 others were injured as a result of Russian missile strike. Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, more than 20,000 objects in Kharkiv have been destroyed, including 50% of the city's schools. There are over half a million of internally displaced persons living in Kharkiv region.

During their trip to Kharkiv, both leaders visited a clinical centre where Ukrainian servicemen wounded in battles in Kharkiv region are undergoing treatment. They also attended math, Ukrainian and English language classes held in specially equipped classrooms at the ‘Universytet’ metro station and talked to the children.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mark Rutte met with Ukrainian investigators and rescuers who participated in the work of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for the criminal investigation of the crime, as well as those involved in forensics and transportation of the bodies of the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17. The aircraft was shot down on July 17, 2014, near city of Torez in Donetsk region during the Russian armed aggression in eastern Ukraine. The international investigation has come to the conclusion that the aircraft was hit by a Russian Buk surface-to-air missile system. The downing of the MH17 flight by Russian forces killed 298 people, including 193 citizens of the Netherlands.

The President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands also honoured the memory of Ukrainian children killed by Russia's armed aggression. Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, 87 children have been killed as a result of hostilities in Kharkiv region, including 21 little Ukrainians in Kharkiv.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mark Rutte placed icon lamps and toys at the monument to the young victims of Russian aggression near the Kharkiv Regional Palace of Children and Youth Creativity.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has become the first foreign high-ranking official to visit Kharkiv since the beginning of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. This visit became a symbol of support for the city, which bravely stands under daily shelling from the Russian invaders.

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