01:37 GMT +322 April 2019
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    Dutch ‘No’ Vote on EU-Ukraine Association Could Force Gov’t to Nix the Deal

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    If people vote against the EU-Ukraine association agreement in the upcoming referendum, the government of the Netherlands will have to review its position on the treaty, Foreign Minister Bert Koenders warned on Saturday.

    The Dutch nation saying ‘no’ might put an end to the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine, FM Bert Koenders said, adding that he would argue for a 'yes’ vote, Reuters reported.

    “The referendum law says the government will have to reconsider if there is a [negative] outcome. I'm not going to say anything about the result, but we will then decide what to do,”

    Koenders again refuted the idea that the association agreement might become the first step toward EU membership for Kiev – much desired by Ukrainians but worrisome for Dutch voters who fear it would only deepen the immigration crisis in the EU.

    The Netherlands is the only EU country, which has not yet ratified the Ukraine-EU association deal.

    The government decided to hold a non-binding referendum after over 450,000 people signed a petition to put the matter to a nationwide vote.

    If no less than 30 percent of people take part in the plebiscite, scheduled for April, the government will have to discuss the matter.

    According to the latest opinion polls over 55 percent of the Dutch are going to vote against and only 44.5 will vote for Ukraine’s proposed association with the 28-nation European Union.


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