Apr 25, 2022 - Ukraine
On 21 April 2022, members of the Ukrainian Parliament Maria Mezentseva, Olena Khomenko and the Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov visited the Netherlands. On behalf of the Embassy of Ukraine, a meeting was organised at the VNG between Dutch mayors, aldermen and a Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to reflect and think of on the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian parliamentary delegation
Mayor Ivan Fedorov was captured by the Russian army on 11 March during a raid on Melitopol. He was released on 16 March as part of an exchange of prisoners and took part in the visit. The purpose of the visit was to provide information on the current security situation in Ukraine, criminal actions of the Russian army in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the economic and humanitarian consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and plans for the rehabilitation of regions in Ukraine.
Meeting of local administrators at VNG
On Wednesday 20 April, at the initiative of VNG International, an initial meeting was held with various municipal experts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Embassy in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Embassy in The Hague and the Association of Ukrainian Municipalities on the reconstruction of Ukrainian cities and regions. The meeting on Thursday between Dutch mayors, aldermen, and an official Ukrainian delegation underlined that we, local governments of the Netherlands, want to continue building these bridges by listening to the concerns of the delegation, and the needs of their cities. Activities and twinning programmes between the Dutch and Ukrainian municipalities were discussed, and city-to-city partnerships were mentioned as possible ways to support the building of a new Ukraine.
Zelensky's appeal to Dutch Parliament: Together back to a peaceful Europe
President Zelensky addressed the Dutch Parliament on 31 March, talking about his dream of the day when Ukrainian refugees who arrived in the EU after the start of the Russian aggression can say "thank you" and return home, to rebuilt cities, to a restored Ukraine. President Zelensky called on all of us, not only in Ukraine, but also in the Netherlands, to think about the reconstruction of Ukraine, so that the whole of Europe can return to a peaceful life.
(Former) mayors and aldermen of the following municipalities as well as the board of VNG Fund participated: The Hague, Groningen, Breda, Schouwen Duiveland, Arnhem, Oosterhout, Amersfoort, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Helmond.