23 July 2018

Warning of Russia, Dutch PM confident on Ukraine deal

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was confident parliament would approve a European Union compromise designed to rescue a cooperation accord between Ukraine and the bloc after Dutch voters rejected it in a referendum.

Kiev and most EU capitals see the association agreement as crucial support for Ukraine against a Russia that is playing an assertive foreign policy role across Europe and the Middle East. informs citing to Reuters, EU leaders agreed on Thursday to spell out limits to the agreement to address concerns expressed by Dutch voters in an advisory referendum in April this year.

The leaders agreed it did not make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership, and did not entitle Kiev to financial aid or military assistance. Neither did it give Ukrainians the right to live and work in the 28-nation union.

"The situation with Russia is getting ever more confrontational," Rutte told a news conference on Friday. "That is a direct threat to our stability."

Highlighting Russia's occupation of parts of Ukraine, hacking attacks against Western governments and political parties and Russia's support for Syria's government in its civil war, he said it was important to assuage Dutch voter concerns without "conceding to Russia".

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the EU leaders' compromise, saying in a social media post that it was a "necessary step" towards securing the agreement.

2016.12.16 / 19:14
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