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New Dutch defence and foreign ministers make their first visit to Ukraine – photos

Sunday, 7 July 2024, 20:15
New Dutch defence and foreign ministers make their first visit to Ukraine – photos
Newly appointed Dutch defence (right) and foreign (left) ministers with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (centre). Photo: Ruben Brekelmans

Newly appointed Dutch Foreign Minister Caspar Veldkamp and Defence Minister Ruben Brekelmans made their first visit to Ukraine on Sunday, 7 July.

Source: Ruben Brekelmans and Caspar Veldkamp on Twitter (X)

Detail: Defence Minister Ruben Brekelmans shared a series of photos from Kyiv and Odesa. One of the pictures shows Brekelmans and Veldkamp, accompanied by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, honouring fallen Ukrainian soldiers near St Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral. 


Veldkamp shared a photo from an Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) train.


"During my first week of work as defence minister, I wanted to personally emphasise that the Dutch government continues to fully support Ukraine. That’s why Foreign Minister Veldkamp and I travelled to Ukraine as soon as we could. Ukraine is fighting for our peace and safety," Brekelmans wrote.

He said that he and Veldkamp met with President Zelenskyy in Odesa. 

Given the distance between Ukraine’s western border and Kyiv, and Kyiv and Odesa, the Dutch ministers were likely in Ukraine for two days.

Veldkamp said their visit took place "this weekend".

He wrote: "My first working visit as the Netherlands' Foreign Minister, with a crucial purpose: to underline our unwavering support for Ukraine. This is of existential importance – the Russian aggression and destruction knows no limits."

He added that as part of the trip, he and Brekelmans visited a power plant destroyed in Russian attacks, which underscores the "crucial need for more support, especially air defence". "The Netherlands contributes with F-16 and Patriots," Veldkamp tweeted.


  • On 21 June, former Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced that the Netherlands, along with another state, would send a Patriot air defence system to Ukraine.
  • On 2 July, Ollongren announced that permission had been granted to export 24 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

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