Dutch government will respond positively to Ukraine request for arms

Netherlands did not intend to supply arms but situation has changed, says foreign minister.

Dutch government will respond positively to Ukraine request for arms

The Dutch government will positively respond if Ukraine makes an arms request, the Netherland's foreign minister said Friday. 

Wopke Hoekstra said the situation has changed in the region when he spoke at a foreign affairs commission meeting concerning the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Dutch government did not previously intend to supply arms to Ukraine in an effort to not increase tensions in the region but the situation has shifted to a degree that it is necessary to look at the developments from a different perspective, he said.

Meanwhile, the majority of the Dutch parliament declared it is open to defensive military support to Ukraine.

Russia is accused of having amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine's border, a move that has prompted concerns by the West that Moscow could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.

The Kremlin has denied Western accusations of a looming invasion, saying its forces are there for exercises.

In February 2014, Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula, with President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.

Turkiye, the US and the UN General Assembly view the annexation as illegal.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's Donbas region has seen more than 13,000 people killed since 2014, according to the UN.

The region is one of several sources of friction between Russia and Ukraine.