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Ukraine envoy calls Dutch vote 'a referendum for eurosceptics'

brussels bureau

Ukraine envoy calls Dutch vote 'a referendum for eurosceptics'


Dutch voters decided to reject a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine in a referendum held on Wednesday.

Turnout was low, but it passed the 30 percent threshold to be valid.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would reconsider the deal, even though the referendum result is not binding on his government.

Euronews correspondent Andrei Beketov spoke to Ukraine’s ambassador to the Netherlands and asked him for his reaction to the vote.

Andrei Beketov, Euronews: Your excellency….In your opinion, what is the message sent by the Dutch voters to Ukraine, and to the European Union?

Olexandre Horin, Ukrainian Ambassador to the Netherlands: This was a referendum not about Ukraine. It was a referendum about the European Union and it was a referendum for eurosceptics! So those who came to vote they have voted for different things, but not for the association agreement with Ukraine.

Euronews: We know that Russia was actively involved in the campaign. Can it claim a propaganda victory by embarrasing both Ukraine and the EU?

Horin: The result of the result of the referendum will not influence the course of Ukraine, which is definite. The country is moving towards close relationship with Europe and is trying to embrace the values, the standards and finally the standards of living.

Euronews: But this movement has been somewhat hampered by the result. Is it a setback for Maidan (and) for the European aspirations of Ukrainians?

Horin: I don’t think so because in reality the EU-Ukraine association treaty is already working on a provisional basis and both parties are benefiting from this cooperation.

Euronews: So what will Kyiv do next?

Horin: Kyiv will continue to go ahead with the reforms in the country and it seems to me that this is one of the most important factors that will lead Ukraine to the family of European people. By the way, we are part of the family!

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