11:58 Apr. 7, 2016
Lithuanian President comments of the preliminary results of the Dutch vote on EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite:'Today we heard the results of the Netherlands referendum. We all wished they were different. However, now is not the time to lose hope or question Ukraine's European choice. No one can stand in the way of Ukraine's path to Europe because Ukraine has always been in Europe and will always stay in Europe. Provisions of the agreement on Free Trade are de facto already in force, the integration process may take more time than we thought but the end result is clear - it was decided in Maidan. There is no doubt that the future of Ukraine is in the hands of every Ukrainian."
Today we have to get more united, more resolute and ready for reforms, integration and new 'European' Ukraine. Lithuania and the entire Europe will be on your side. Glory to Ukraine!"
On April 6, the Netherlands held the referendum on a deeper cooperation between Ukraine and the E.U.
61% of people at the polls voted against the pact, according to preliminary exit polls. The turnout stands at 32%, just above the threshold for the result to be recognised. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has already spoken out. He says the negative outcome will not affect Ukraine's closer integration with Europe.
The political, trade and defense treaty is already provisionally in place, but has to be ratified by all 28 EU member countries. The Netherlands is the only country that has not done so. Although the results were preliminary, they exposed dissatisfaction with the Dutch government and policy-making in Brussels - weeks before Britain votes on membership to the E.U.