The special envoy appointed by the foreign affairs ministry to oversee the Dutch role in rebuilding Ukraine has resigned after the publication of a book featuring pro-Russia comments made by him.
Ron van Dartel was interviewed for the book Als je de lat lager legt ga je niet hoger springen (lowering the bar does not mean you will jump higher) by Gerard Dielessen a while ago, but it has only just been published.
Van Dartel, who was appointed just 2.5 weeks ago, is quoted as saying that ‘Ukrainians are Russians as well. We should not forget this. It is reality’.
He also said he felt international politicians are ‘naïve’ in their approach to Russia and that they were suffering from ‘wishful thinking’ about changes there, news agency ANP reported.
The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement it had not been aware that Van Dartel had given an interview. ‘Van Dartel realises that the statements mean he can no longer function credibly and he has decided to resign with immediate effect.’
Van Dartel, who was retired before being asked to take up the envoy role, is the former Dutch ambassador to Serbia, Poland and Russia and represented the Netherlands on the OSCE.
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