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Ukraine lambastes Dutch stance on EU association deal

Kyiv urges other EU countries to put pressure on the Netherlands.

Ukraine lambastes Dutch stance on EU association deal
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsandze
Photo: Photo: www.kmu.gov.ua

Ukraine considers unacceptable the position of the Netherlands government's, which is going to abandon the completion of ratification of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said Ukraine keeps working with all EU member states and the leadership of the EU.

"We believe that we need to get the ratification by the Netherlands, probably with an indication of a special position with respect to that bilateral regulations that relate exclusively to individual countries in the Association Agreement, are not binding for the Netherlands," Klympush-Tsintsadze said during governmental hour in the Verkhovna Rada on 23 September.

The vice prime minister expressed regret in connection with the statement of the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte that the completion of the ratification of the Association Agreement will probably not take place.

"This means that the Dutch government is not ready to take responsibility for its previous decisions adopted in July 2015 together with the Parliament of the Netherlands, when the ratification procedures have been completed in the Netherlands regarding the Association Agreement," she said.

"[The Dutch government] takes into account the returns of a non-binding plebiscite that, in fact, reflects the opinion of mere 20% of the population of the Netherlands. Ukraine can become hostage to such a vote of Dutch citizens," she argued.

Earlier BBC Ukraine has quoted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as saying that the country's government is unlikely to ratify the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, taking into account the results of the April referendum, in which the Dutch opposed this agreement.

In an April 6 consultative referendum in the Netherlands, 61% of the Dutch, who came to the polling stations voted against the Agreement on the association of Ukraine with the EU. The turnout was 32% at 30% required. Legally, results of the referendum are not binding for the government.