‘I think that in the end, we will not ratify the document,’ Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said during his speech in the Parliament on Thursday, as quoted by BBC Ukraine.
The official referred to the results of the Dutch referendum held in April 2016, at which two-thirds of Dutch people voted against the document. He also reiterated that before the paper takes effect, the governments of every EU member country should ratify it. Rutte, however, expressed hope that Ukraine will be able to continue negotiations with the rest of 27 EU member countries.
Currently, the Netherlands are the only EU member country that has not yet ratified the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Most of the Dutch citizens opposed Ukraine’s association with the EU at the referendum that took place in April this year. That showed there is some discontent between Rutte’s foreign policy and the public opinion in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Parliament ratified the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in July 2015. However, local Euroskeptics offered to hold a referendum where the Dutchmen were supposed to either support or disapprove the idea of ratification of the document.
On April 12, 2016, the Dutch Election Committee announced the official results of the referendum, under which 61 percent of the participants voted against the EU-Ukraine association.
Source: BBC Ukraine