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Dutch premier visits Ukraine for 1st time since start of war

The Netherlands’ prime minister has visited Ukraine for the first time since the war between Russia and Ukraine began in late February, local media reported on Monday.

According to Dutch news agency NOS, Mark Rutte made a surprise visit to Kyiv, Irpin, Borodyanka, Bucha and discussed with local authorities the issues of aid for the rebuilding of cities.

Rutte said that he wanted to show support to Ukraine with the visit, adding: "Our assistance with military ammunition, the reception of Ukrainian refugees and the restoration of cities has already begun."

The Netherlands has given €172.7 million ($174 million) in military aid to Ukraine.

Rutte said that he was in constant contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, adding that he will meet him in the afternoon.

During the meeting, issues such as food security, weapons and support to Ukraine, and its candidacy for the EU are expected to be discussed.

Nearly 4,900 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24, according to UN figures.


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