The Dutch referendum on ratifying a treaty between Ukraine and the EU is playing into Russian president Putin’s hands, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko says in Thursday’s NRC.
The people behind the April referendum ‘wittingly or unwittingly’ benefit Russia’s aggression, Proshenko told the paper. Poroshenko is in the Netherlands for two days of talks with Dutch officials. He will also meet king Willem-Alexander.
‘Putin’s politics are a problem … for the whole world,’ he told the NRC. ‘Everyone has to realise that a vote in the referendum is also a vote for or against the Ukrainians who have given their lives for European values. I abhor the idea that the Dutch are being held hostage in a political game.’
The referendum is only advisory but a majority of MPs are prepared to accept the results, so long as the required 30% of voters turn out.
The question in the referendum will be: ‘are you for or against the law approving the treaty of association between the European Union and Ukraine?’ The campaign to hold a referendum was launched by shock blog Geenstijl, think-tank Forum voor Democratie and the Burgercomite EU association last month.
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