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Zelenskyy urges Dutch to boycott Russian energy exports

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday urged the Netherlands to boycott Russian energy exports, in his latest address to a national parliament.

“Be willing to stop energy (exports) from Russia... so you don't contribute billions to the war,” he said in a video address to Dutch lawmakers.

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Russia also remained the largest supplier of natural gas to the EU.

But Brussels wanted to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year, anxious to isolate Moscow and deprive Russia since its invasion of Ukraine just over a month ago.

A major gas producer for Europe from its Groningen gas field, the EU’s largest, the Netherlands has in recent years drastically turned down the taps because of earthquakes plaguing the region.

Since the invasion, calls in the Netherlands too have become louder to increase production from the Groningen field, which currently supplies around four percent of the continent’s gas.

In his speech, Zelenskyy also urged Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to support Ukraine’s bid for European Union membership.

“Our EU membership is dependent on you,” Zelenskyy said.

“And you know that too, Mark Rutte,” he said, personally addressing the Dutch Prime Minister.

The Netherlands has been reluctant to admit Kyiv, with the Dutch cabinet saying it was a “complex and complicated process.”

Zelenskyy also compared the besieged southern port city of Mariupol to that of Rotterdam, bombed by the Nazis in May 1940 during World War II.

“Many European cities are now in the shadow of Rotterdam,” said Zelensky, who received a standing ovation from parliamentarians.

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