New Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof on Wednesday pledged continued "financial, military, and political support" for Ukraine, as he took aim at Russia in his first major speech.

"We should not be naive. A few hours' flight from here, there is a horrific war, where human lives do not matter for Russia," Schoof, a former spy chief, told parliament.

"Ukraine can continue to count on the Netherlands for financial, military and political support," he stressed.

Schoof, 67, also pledged to meet the goal of spending two percent of gross domestic product on defence set by the NATO alliance, soon to be led by his predecessor Mark Rutte.

Speaking to a small group of journalists after his inauguration on Tuesday, Schoof said the main threat to the country "clearly came from the east."


"Maybe because I've been head of the security services, I'm a little bit more worried than others," he said.

Under Rutte, the Netherlands signed a deal this year for two billion euros ($2.1 billion) of military assistance over 10 years, later adding an additional one billion.

Rutte also spearheaded the push to give Kyiv F-16 fighter jets, a decision described by President Volodymyr Zelensky as "historic" on a trip to the Netherlands.

Schoof heads an unusual cabinet that does not include the leaders of the four right-wing parties that forged a coalition after the election win of far-right leader Geert Wilders.

Wilders stepped aside after some coalition negotiation partners threatened to torpedo talks if he was PM, uneasy over his anti-Islam, eurosceptic views.

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Leaders in Brussels are closely watching the Netherlands, a key European Union member, to see if the Dutch will continue to play a constructive role in the club.

Schoof pledged to adhere to international agreements but warned the Netherlands would not impose stricter rules than in other countries in environmental policy.

"We do not always have to be the best little boy in the class. And we cannot afford to be," said Schoof.

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