Visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot on Tuesday met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, pledging further support for Ukraine’s efforts toward integration into the European Union (EU).
After the talks with Kuleba, Slot said that Kiev made progress in the EU-required reforms and voiced support for launching membership talks between Ukraine and the bloc.
“We have a positive attitude to the recommendations of the European Commission regarding the opening of membership negotiations with Ukraine, because your future is with us,” Slot was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
The Netherlands will stand with Ukraine “throughout the entire process,” Slot said, noting that her country plans to provide 2.5 billion euros (about 2.7 billion U.S. dollars) in support for Kiev next year.
During the talks with Zelensky, Slot discussed the preparations for the December meeting of the European Council, which would decide on whether to open the accession talks with Ukraine.
Zelensky and Slot also discussed the situation on the frontline in Ukraine, the functioning of the alternative “grain corridor,” the reinforcement of Ukraine’s air defense, as well as the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets with the support of the Netherlands.
Last month, the European Commission recommended the European Council launch accession negotiations with Ukraine and adopt negotiating frameworks once Ukraine has adopted specific key measures.
The European Council is set to decide on opening negotiations on accession with Ukraine at the EU summit on Dec. 14-15.