Outgoing Dutch PM Mark Rutte urges support for Ukraine, EU and NATO

Outgoing Dutch PM Mark Rutte urges support for Ukraine, EU and NATO

Long-serving Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged his country to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia in his final speech on Sunday.

“It is crucial that our country is embedded in the European Union and NATO. Together we are stronger than alone. Especially now,” he said.

After leading his country for over a decade, he will be taking his experience to Brussels where he will be taking over from Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s Secretary General.

Rutte stressed the need to continue support for Ukraine, “for peace there and security here.”

Known for cycling to meetings and his dedication to politics, Rutte highlighted his country’s positive attributes.

“There is no war here, you can be who you are, we are prosperous,” he said.

However, he also acknowledged low points in his career which included a child benefits scandal that wrongly labelled thousands of parents as fraudsters.

“The Netherlands is a great country. I may have said that once or twice too often, but that’s because I mean it from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

The new Dutch government is expected to take office on Tuesday and has pledged to maintain its support of Ukraine. However, far-right populist Geert Wilders, whose party won the most seats in the general election, has expressed pro-Russian views.