The Netherlands will respond to the new steps that Russia is taking in the war in Ukraine with “more weapons, more sanctions, more aid”. This is what Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs writes on Twitter. “The mock referendums and partial mobilization by Russia are another attempt by Putin to get his way through aggression and intimidation. Giving in to this is not an option.”

    Hoekstra calls it “crucial that we keep course right now” by supporting Ukraine. “We see that our support is working: Ukraine has recaptured large tracts of land. Let it be clear, Russia’s war is and will remain completely illegal. We must do everything we can to stop the bloodshed by Putin.”

    The Dutch government has been emphasizing for some time that more weapons and (financial) support will go to Ukraine. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said earlier Wednesday that he sees Putin’s language as “a kind of panic reaction” because he sees Western support for Ukraine bearing fruit.

    Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren says Putin is being “hard and uncompromising”. “Our response cannot be other than to support Ukraine even more, along with all countries that stand for democracy and freedom.”

    Wopke Hoekstra is currently in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly. He therefore skips the General Political Reflections in the House of Representatives this year. Rutte and Ollongren are present.