Geenstijl (No Style), an activist blog, has called on Dutch citizens to sign an appeal for a referendum on the EU's association agreement with Ukraine.
The activists are benefitting from a new democratic tool in the Netherlands which allows citizens to call for a popular referendum on a recently adopted law or treaty.
The reason why they want to vote on Ukraine is the criticism of how the EU handled Russia's conflict with Ukraine and of the EU-Ukraine treaty, which they regard as “provocative and a threat to the welfare and well-being of us and the Ukrainians”.
The group says that if the union opens borders with the country, which is currently at war, it will mean “open borders with a war zone”.
Additionally, the agreement was one of the main reasons for the dispute with Russia and the civil war that broke out in the east of Ukraine.
“The fact that [President] Putin’s attitude towards us is adverse, does not mean that Kiev has become a friend to us,” the local media quotes the activists as saying.
“We are sending money to Ukraine, but the government seems to have no control over the situation. In such an atmosphere any reforms are doomed to fail, and without the reforms there is no sense in the association agreement.”
However even if the campaign succeeds and a majority votes No in a referendum, the result will be non-binding for the country’s authorities who could still keep it in force.