Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has embarked on an unannounced visit to the Netherlands, as reported by local media. The visit is expected to include meetings with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, members of the country's parliament, and officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Zelenskyy's visit to the Netherlands comes as Ukraine continues to grapple with the aftermath of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.
President Zelenskyy arrived at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport late on Wednesday, following his participation in a Nordic summit held in Helsinki, Finland.
The Dutch news agency ANP published a photo of a darkened aircraft, believed to be the Dutch government plane that transported the Ukrainian leader.
Sources indicate that Zelenskyy will visit the ICC, based in The Hague, during his stay in the Netherlands.
During his time in The Hague, President Zelenskyy is expected to deliver a speech titled "No peace without justice for Ukraine." This address underscores Ukraine's pursuit of justice and accountability for the ongoing conflict. In March, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children's rights in Putin's presidential office, on charges related to alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy's visit to the Netherlands also entails meetings with Dutch parliamentarians and Prime Minister Rutte. Unnamed sources suggest that these discussions will touch upon important bilateral matters. Moreover, the Ukrainian leader's presence in the Netherlands signifies Ukraine's continuous efforts to garner international support in its struggle against Russia's aggression.
Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy has been making unannounced visits to various foreign capitals, including London, Paris, and Washington, D.C. These diplomatic efforts aim to rally support for Ukraine and maintain international attention on the situation. Zelenskyy's visit to Finland, prior to his arrival in the Netherlands, saw him express optimism about the year ahead and seek increased support in dealing with Russia.
During the Nordic summit in Helsinki, leaders from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland reiterated their unwavering support for Ukraine. The countries pledged to provide ongoing political, financial, humanitarian, and military assistance for as long as it takes. President Zelenskyy expressed confidence that Ukraine's future successes on the battlefield would prompt Western allies to supply the advanced fighter jets the country has been seeking.
Amidst the visit, Russia claimed that Ukraine had attempted a drone attack on the Kremlin, intending to assassinate President Putin. President Zelenskyy vehemently denied these allegations, emphasizing that Ukraine is solely focused on defending its territory and protecting its civilians. Ukrainian officials expressed concerns that Russia's claims could serve as a pretext for further strikes on Ukrainian cities.