Tuesday 27 July 2021

Dutch PM ‘pessimistic’ about solving Ukraine vote conundrum

Ukraine Netherlands  Sign Flags ConceptPrime minister Mark Rutte is not optimistic that a solution can be found to the Dutch rejection of the EU’s treaty with Ukraine, news agency ANP said on Thursday.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of the European summit, Rutte told reporters his pessimism about a deal ‘has only worsened’.

Rutte will discuss the difficult situation facing the Netherlands in informal talks with EU colleagues on Thursday evening, ANP said.

The turnout in the April referendum was just 32%, but this was enough for the result to have legal weight. Some 62% of those who voted said no to the treaty. Rutte said immediately after the vote that the Netherlands can no longer ratify the treaty ‘just like that’.

Even though the referendum was advisory, both ministers and opposition parties have said the result should be respected.

Rutte has pledged to brief parliament on the official government position by November 1.

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