Read a live blog of the war in Ukraine from Friday 13 October here

Read a live blog of the war in Ukraine from Friday 13 October here

The Netherlands is sending more missiles to Ukraine for the Patriot air defense system, outgoing Prime Minister Rutte announced today during a press conference in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In this way, says Rutte, Ukraine will be able to defend itself against ‘savage airstrikes from Russia’ this winter.

The pledge comes a week after Hamas’ attacks on Israel, a direct cause of the ongoing war between the two. Zelensky feared that Ukraine would lose Western attention and (military) support as a result. However, Rutte insisted that the Netherlands would continue to support the Eastern European country despite other crises elsewhere. “It should be two and not one on top of the other,” Rutte said.

ANP / EPA – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shake hands at a press conference in Odessa.

In addition, Rutte promised that the Netherlands would help Ukraine acquire four patrol boats to ensure the security of grain exports across the Black Sea. In total, the Netherlands has already delivered over 2 billion euros worth of military equipment to Ukraine.

According to the Dutch prime minister, Russian President Vladimir Putin is wrong if he thinks Western support will wane as long as the war lasts. “Ukraine is not alone,” Rutte said. “A broad coalition of countries is firmly behind Ukraine. Our appointment today is not just a response to Putin. It is a sign of solidarity.’

Cephas Van Aert

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