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Netherlands To Block EU-Ukraine Deal Unless Defense and EU Membership Are Off the Table

Dec. 9, 2016 (EIRNS)—Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands will block a trade and security deal between the European Union and Ukraine unless there are legally binding guarantees that the deal is not the first step toward EU membership or military protection for Ukraine.

This follows the referendum in April in which 61% of Dutch voters rejected the ratification of the 2014 deal that would allow Ukraine access to the EU market. "If we do not get this [legally binding guarantee] we will put a law to Parliament the next day, which will state that we will not ratify the association agreement," Rutte told the Financial Times. "The reason I am fighting for this [compromise] is that I am absolutely convinced that Europe must be unified now towards Russia’s foreign policy," Rutte said, according to the Russian-based news agency Sputnik.