Pravda.ru, March 30, 2016
ИСТОЧНИК ФОТОГРАФИИ: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
Original headline: “The Prime Minister of the Netherlands has made a sensational statement regarding Ukraine”
The Netherlands are against Ukraine’s accession into the European Union said Mark Rutte, Netherlands prime minister, in an interview with the news portal NU.nl.
“We believe that Ukraine ought to have good relations as much with Europe as with Russia. This will be impossible if Ukraine becomes a member of the European Union,” the portal quoted Rutte.
However, Rutte said that the Association of Ukraine with the EU is not a step on the way to joining the EU. “Netherlands is against – said Rutte in response to the question of Ukraine’s accession to the EU. Opponents of the Agreement on Association between Ukraine and the EU say that the ratification would be a step towards Ukraine’s accession to the EU, however, this is not the case.”
The prime minister of the Netherlands stated that the agreement relates to free trade, the rule of law, fight against corruption and the development of democracy.
On April 6, the Netherlands will hold a referendum on the ratification of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.**
Although the results of the survey are advisory in nature, they can cause difficulty in the political circles of the Netherlands itself, and in the EU as a whole. Actually more than half of the Dutch people, according to public opinion surveys, are opposed the treaty. However, their position, as well as the views of citizens of other EU countries, were not taken into account at the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Ukraine.
On this subject, the chairman of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in early March said that Ukraine will not be able to join the EU and NATO in the next 20-25 years.
Recall, as reported by Pravda.ru, in early March the Ukrainian Foreign Minister in March said that Kiev needs to convince the Netherlands to support Ukraine on the issue of the country’s association with the EU. In this connection, it will be strengthened and Ukrainian information activity in the Netherlands.
“We must fight to show the Netherlands our modern Ukraine, Ukraine as a European country, and a country dedicated to European values,” – said Pavel Klimkin.
**For the point of view of the referendum’s backers, see this.