Ukraine-EU Association deal: Dutch PM warns solution unlikely on Ukraine trade deal - Financial Times

09:56 Sep. 23, 2016

Dutch PM warns solution unlikely on Ukraine trade deal - Financial Times

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte waves as he arrives for an EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels on March 7, 2016 (AP photo)

There is a slim chance that the Netherlands will ratify Ukraine-EU Association deal

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte warned that the Netherlands was unlikely to sign off a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine after Dutch voters slammed the proposal in a non-binding referendum earlier this year.

Despite months of diplomatic efforts to come up with a solution, Mr Rutte told Dutch MPs on Thursday: "I think that ultimately we will not ratify [the trade agreement]."

Read also Poroshenko calls for Netherlands to take a 'responsible' decision on EU-Ukraine agreement

Mr Rutte expressed some optimism that the deal could carry on without the Netherlands, just involving the EU's remaining 27 member states and Ukraine.

Dutch voters voted against the deal by a margin of two-to-one in a referendum in April, albeit on a low turnout, leaving Mr Rutte little room to manoeuvre domestically.

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