On 30 January-1 February, a Ukrainian parliamentary delegation headed by the First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko paid a working visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

During the visit, Ukrainian MPs held a number of meetings, including with the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Netherlands, members of the Dutch delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the President of the International Criminal Court.

“The Netherlands is a very friendly country. They are one of our top five supporters and donors in the world and in Europe. And they are very determined to continue this assistance,” said Oleksandr Korniienko, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. He said that during all the meetings, the Dutch representatives expressed their desire to help Ukraine and were interested in very specific needs.

Meeting with the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Netherlands

First of all, the Ukrainian delegation, led by the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko, met with the First Deputy Speaker of the Senate Mei Li Vos and the Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives of the General States of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Roelien Kamminga. The parties discussed the importance of implementing the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and the establishment of a special tribunal for crimes of russian aggression.

“2024 is the second year of russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and ten years of the terrorist state's war against our country,” Oleksandr Korniienko said, inviting the Dutch Parliament to join the global campaign and adopt a resolution in support of Ukraine on 24 February: “The resolution could include clauses on defence cooperation, sanctions policy and confiscation of frozen russian assets.”

For her part, the Vice Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives, Roelien Kamminga, stressed the importance of maintaining good contacts between the parliaments of both countries, especially now, during the war. She also mentioned the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the Dutch Parliament in May 2023.

The First Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Mei Li Vos, spoke about the need for cooperation. She noted that both countries need friendship and cooperation to face future challenges. “The Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine on the basis of the values of democracy and the rule of law,” Mei Li Vos said.

Meeting with members of the Dutch delegation to the NATO PA and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee

In addition, the Ukrainian delegation met with members of the Dutch delegation to the NATO PA and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The parties discussed Ukraine's European integration path, assistance in the context of full-scale aggression and the current situation. “We value the expertise of the Netherlands, which will definitely help us achieve our goal,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

At the same time, the delegates touched upon the fight against corruption, national communities, financial and military support.

For their part, the Dutch MPs reaffirmed their continued support for Ukraine and stressed that Ukraine must restore its territorial integrity within the internationally recognised borders. They also stressed the importance of direct communication at the parliamentary level, which provides first-hand information about the situation in Ukraine. In addition, they stressed the importance of discussing post-war reconstruction now.

Meeting with representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Defence 

The Ukrainian delegation also held a meeting at the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands with the Director General for Political Affairs, a representative of the Ukraine Task Force.

The First Vice-Speaker Oleksandr Korniienko informed about the current security situation in Ukraine, in particular on the battlefield, and military support. “I communicate with the military and visit brigades on the front line, so I get to know first-hand the priority needs and the state of affairs,” he said, stressing the need for technology and components, as well as aircraft and shells.

The parties also discussed the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington and its importance for Ukraine, especially in the context of Ukraine's integration into the Alliance.

Following the meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, Head of the Permanent Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Yehor Chernev said that representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Defence assured the Ukrainian delegates that they would continue to help Ukraine, in particular, they have already allocated funds for this purpose.

According to him, the parties have updated their priorities in terms of what Ukraine needs on the battlefield. The Ukrainian delegation, for its part, secured support on all the issues raised.

Meeting with the President of the International Criminal Court

The main topic of the conversation between the Ukrainian delegation headed by the First Vice-Speaker Oleksandr Korniienko and the President of the International Criminal Court, Piotr Hofmański, was the issue of Ukraine's ratification of the Rome Statute.

The parties also discussed possible areas of cooperation in this area.

Oleksandr Korniienko expressed his gratitude to the President of the International Criminal Court for the productive dialogue and the topics that were raised that are important for Ukraine.

Working days in the Netherlands: what else did the Ukrainian delegates discuss with their colleagues?

Raising the issue of Ukraine's reconstruction during the meetings, the First Vice Speaker Oleksandr Korniienko stressed that the Netherlands is an important ally.

“Now, first of all, we are talking about what needs to be urgently rebuilt right now, but programmes to restore housing have already been launched. Of course, we are talking about industrial reconstruction, and the Netherlands is interested in this – the so-called 'green recovery', so that we can rebuild in the format of a 'green transition',” he said.

At the same time, Oleksandr Korniienko noted that the Ukrainian delegates invited their fellow MPs to see first-hand how this recovery can take place and what cooperation projects are possible: “After the visits, they better understand Ukraine's needs and why we are at war.”

For her part, Halyna Mykhailiuk, the Deputy Chair of the Committee on Law Enforcement, Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Parliament, noted that the Netherlands is actively involved in initiatives to bring russia to international justice, in particular, by taking the lead in implementing paragraph 7 “Restoring Justice” of the President Zelenskyi's Peace Formula and supporting the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of russian aggression against Ukraine with the possibility of its location in The Hague.

In addition, she said, international institutions headquartered in the country are also working to restore justice. “A striking example is the International Court of Justice, which announced a historic ruling on russia's violations of international law,” said Halyna Mykhailiuk, adding that during the working visit to the Netherlands it was important for the Ukrainian delegation to develop both bilateral partnership and multilateral cooperation.

“The Ukrainian parliament responds to any signals from civil society and international partners about possible risks of corruption in the defence sector. We have set up a special commission of inquiry to investigate such information, and the Anti-Corruption Committee has repeatedly heard from the leadership of the Ministry of Defence and anti-corruption bodies,” said Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, a member of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy.

At the same time, Andrii Zhupanyn, a member of the Committee on Energy, Housing and Utilities, stressed that Ukraine and the Netherlands have excellent opportunities for cooperation in the production of biomethane. “The Netherlands is one of the leaders in the production of this renewable gas in Europe, and Ukraine has great potential that may be of interest to Dutch investors,” he said, stressing that Ukrainian biomethane can partially replace russian gas, which the European Union plans to completely abandon in the near future.

“Thus, investing in biomethane production in Ukraine is not only a way to support the country's economy during the war, but also an opportunity for the Netherlands to contribute to achieving European goals faster,” added Andrii Zhupanyn.


 

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