Ukraine should receive all help to defend itself - Dutch politician

Ukraine should receive all help to defend itself - Dutch politician

Dutch politician, member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (2012-2023) Sjoerd Sjoerdsma emphasized that Ukraine deserves material, financial, and moral support - everything that can be done to help it defend against Russian aggression.

He said this in an interview with an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.

"Ukraine deserves our material, financial, and moral support, whatever we can to help protect Ukraine from Russian aggression. And it's been a long time since we've seen such naked aggression, disregard of borders, disregard of human life, disregard of other people's culture. So I think for almost any politician in Netherlands there wasn’t any question on which side we were. We were firmly on the Ukrainian side. But I also think the Netherlands has a debt of honor when it comes to Ukraine because of the two things in the past," Sjoerdsma said.

According to the politician, the Netherlands has a deep sense of respect when it comes to Ukraine, due to two events that took place in the past.

Read also: Every F-16 not flying over Ukrainian skies means more chances for Russia - Dutch politician

"The first is the horrible referendum that we held on the Association Agreement with Ukraine in which the Dutch population voted. But I don't think they voted no because they wanted Ukraine out of Europe or they wanted nothing to do with Ukraine. No, it was because of a serious disinformation campaign and a lack of will from politicians to defend their points of view. I think we were the only party at the time to really campaign in referendum. We went all out, we printed flyers, we were in all cities with volunteers, explaining to people why this Association Agreement was a win-win both for Ukraine and the Netherlands. So we had something to make up for when it comes to our ties and the Ukrainian inspiration within Europe," the politician emphasized.

He also recalled the shooting down of flight MH17. "I remember, after the first dark days of the downing of the plane, the strong outcry in the society to bring our loved ones back. They were shut down over a theater of war where Ukraine was fighting Russia – at the time, of course, they were called ‘pro-Russian separatists’. We all know that they were from Russia. And Ukraine was prepared to stop the fighting to allow the bodies of our loved ones to be retrieved. I think this was the gesture of such goodwill and such honor that I think it's almost a debt of blood for the society to return the favor. I was there when the bodies were flown back to Eindhoven by the Dutch and Australian military. I will always remember this," said Shurdsma.

In his opinion, these two things make up for what the Netherlands has done and what it needed to do. " But of course, the invasion itself, so incredibly barbaric that there was also no doubt that we had to act," said the politician.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Netherlands is allocating more than EUR 100 million for the Czech initiative for the rapid delivery of artillery rounds to Ukraine.

Czech President Petr Pavel announced on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference that Prague had found about 800,000 artillery rounds (500,000 155mm shells and 300,000 122mm shells) in third countries, which EU members could purchase for Ukraine. Several nations have already supported the initiative.

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