This photo shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky taking part in a ceremony marking Border Guards Day in Kyiv, amid Russia's special military operation in Ukraine on April 30, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
THE HAGUE — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday night for a surprise visit, following his visit to Finland earlier the day.
The plane with Zelensky arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at 10.15 pm local time (2115 GMT). It came from Helsinki, Finland, where the Ukrainian president had attended a summit with Nordic nations — Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.
The discussions between Niinisto and Zelensky included Ukraine's defense struggles and Finland's support for Ukraine, bilateral relations between the two countries and global geopolitics, according to the press release by the Finnish president's office
According to Dutch national news agency ANP, Zelensky will meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday and is scheduled to deliver a speech in the Hague and visit the International Criminal Court.
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It is the first time for Zelensky to visit the Netherlands as Ukraine's head of state. Dutch government officials, including Rutte, have already traveled to Kyiv to talk with Zelensky.
Zelensky paid a visit to Finland Wednesday at the invitation of President Sauli Niinisto.
The discussions between Niinisto and Zelensky included Ukraine's defense struggles and Finland's support for Ukraine, bilateral relations between the two countries and global geopolitics, according to the press release by the Finnish president's office.
In the afternoon, Niinisto hosted the Nordic-Ukrainian Summit, attended also by Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Store, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen and Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir.
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The summit discussed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Nordic support for Ukraine, developments in Ukraine's relationship with the EU and NATO and Ukraine's initiative for peace.
Zelensky called for a political decision on his country's NATO membership at a press conference with leaders of the five Nordic countries.
Zelensky said he understands that Ukraine's accession to NATO cannot occur during a conflict. However, he added that "there is no obstacle to a political decision toward later membership" and mentioned the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius.