04:18 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Dutch Vote on Ukraine: EU or No EU

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    The Netherlands’ April 6th referendum on the Association Agreement with Ukraine came as a bitter pill to the pro-EU government in Kiev, as the overwhelming majority of the voters in the country, which currently holds the bloc’s Presidency, unequivocally said “no”.

    In an article entitled “Dutch Vote on EU-Ukraine Deal Could Send Ripples Through Europe”, carried by the Wall Street Journal and written by Maarten van Tartwijk, the author remarks about the agreement in question that:

    “The pact, provisionally applied by Brussels since mid-2014, removes export tariffs between Ukraine and the EU and has provided a boost to the fragile Ukrainian economy at a time when trade with Russia has plummeted. It was at the heart of Ukraine’s political crisis in 2014, prompting violent clashes and the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych.”

    He also observed that:

    “The Dutch referendum is the first under a new domestic law that allows citizens to call for a nonbinding vote on some legislation and treaties that have already been passed by parliament. It was triggered by an online petition started by euroskeptic activists and an antiestablishment blog that argued that voters should have more influence on EU decisions.”

    He then goes on to write that:

    “The Ukraine pact was targeted because it was one of the first pieces of legislation available on which to stage a referendum, said Thierry Baudet, a 33-year-old publicist and one of the vote’s initiators. “The agreement with Ukraine is a symptom of everything that is wrong with the EU,” he said.”

    To discuss the topic in more detail we were joined by Andrei Fyodorov, Russia’s ex Deputy Foreign Minister and Director of the Centre for Political Studies think-tank (studio guest); Anneke De Laaf, Dutch Political Activist and editor at Novayagazeta.nl; and Jan Van Benthem, foreign commentator at the Nederlands Dagblad (The Netherlands Daily)

    Dutch referendum on Ukraine-EU treaty, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine, Netherlands
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