23 August 2017
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Dutch PM may submit bill to revoke support for EU-Ukraine Treaty Monday - VOA

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said his government may submit a bill revoking his country's support for the treaty establishing closer ties between the European Union and Ukraine, according to Voice of America.

Rutte has said rejection of the association agreement would be a mistake and would weaken European unity, but that if efforts to find a compromise failed at the weekend, he would have no choice, VOA reports.

The Netherlands is the only EU member state not to have ratified the deal following a referendum in April in which the Dutch chose not to support closer ties with Kyiv.

Dutch leader not optimistic about free-trade deal with UkraineMeanwhile, PM Rutte is willing to find a compromise between Ukraine, the EU and Dutch opposition that will both let the treaty be implemented and respect the people's vote cast in April.

The association agreement, reached after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and then backed militants fighting government troops in the east of the country, is being provisionally implemented now, but its future hinges on the Netherlands.

Dutch rejection "would cause great damage and I need to do everything to bring that view across and to convince the parties still not convinced," he said.

MH17 downing: The Netherlands to consider two options for trial"This is larger than the Netherlands alone. We are part of a broader international community acting as one front for stability on our borders and against aggression," Rutte told journalists at a weekly briefing.

Rutte in June sought "legally binding" assurances from EU leaders to address his country's concerns over the deal.

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