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    Flags of Ukraine and the European Union in Kiev

    Kiev Expects Netherlands to Back EU-Ukraine Association in Referendum

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    Kiev is counting on Dutch voters to approve Ukraine’s association with the European Union in an April 6 referendum, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko told reporters at a press conference on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On April 6, Voters in the Netherlands are scheduled vote to back or reject an EU-Ukraine association agreement. A turnout of 30 percent is required for the result to be accepted by the government.

    "We are still expecting responsible choice of the Dutch," Poroshenko said on Friday. "We're absolutely sure that European integration and the implementation of our association agreement will not be stopped."

    Poroshenko said he is concerned about a campaign in the Netherlands to reject the association, which he attributed to internal politics.

    "This is very dangerous, that a 45-million-person country could become the victim of this discussion."

    President Petro Poroshenko (L) speaking to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (File)
    © AFP 2018 / MYKOLA LAZARENKO / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS-SERVICE

    Poroshenko spoke in Washington, DC following a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

    The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement signed in June 2014 commits Kiev to gradually conform to EU economic, political, social, legal and technical standards. It also grants Ukraine expanded access to the EU market.

    The Netherlands is the only EU country that has not yet ratified the association deal. The government decided to hold a referendum after more than 400,000 people signed a petition calling for a popular vote on the agreement.

    The latest opinion polls indicate more than half of Dutch voters lean toward voting against the agreement.

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    Dutch referendum, Petro Poroshenko, Netherlands, Ukraine
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