Last week Russian site Ukraina.ru published a news item claiming that during last week’s EU summit in Brussels Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands would not ratify the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry television channel Zvezda quickly republished the claim, while REN-TV went even further and declared “The Hague refuses to admit Ukraine into the EU”.
Rutte did say that the Netherlands refuse to ratify the Association Agreement with Ukraine; he urged to take into account the opinions of the people who voted in the April referendum.
According to Reuters Rutte said that a legally binding solution needed to be found, one that would address the concerns which led up to the referendum. According to the Dutch PM this could be done by changing the text of the agreement. Rutte admitted the solution would be difficult, but all sides had to try to find a way out, he said.
The Netherlands are to hold parliamentary elections in March. Rutte’s ratings are falling as he faces growing criticism from the radical right in his country and the recent Brexit vote has increased pressure on Rutte to show that he is listening to the voice of his electorate.