Monday, October 31 2016 20:03 EET
Europe
Dutch PM Rutte: Ratification of the Ukraine-EU treaty is still possible - Poroshenko says the danger is now eliminated
Dutch, PM Rutte, Ratification, Ukraine, EU, treaty, Poroshenko, referendum, Tusk, Juncker, Schulz, Association Agreement

Dutch government additionally asks for 6 more weeks in order to resolve Ukraine-EU Association dilemma.

The Netherlands may still ratify the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, but the Dutch government needs more time for negotiations with Ukraine and the bloc's member states.

In a letter to parliament, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he takes up to six weeks to broker a complex "legally binding" deal that would be acceptable to the 27 other EU countries while honouring the referendum.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says the Netherlands does not put to a halt the process of ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and continues consultations, according to the president’s posting on Facebook.

"The danger that seemed imminent yesterday is now eliminated. The final date of the consultations on the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement given the outcome of the referendum in the Netherlands was set for November 1. Many skeptics, and not only in Ukraine, expected that the decision on halting the treaty’s ratification by the Netherlands would be taken today," the president wrote. Poroshenko stressed that "in the past days we were able to hold intensive negotiations with our partners from the European Union." 

"I personally held a dozen telephone conversations, including with the presidents Tusk, Juncker and Schulz, as well as with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Rutte," wrote Poroshenko.

In an April referendum, nearly two-thirds of Dutch voters said "No" to the EU's association treaty on closer political, military and trade relations with Ukraine, thus making the Netherlands the only EU state not to have ratified the deal.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said that "considering national interests" the government would now aim to reach an agreement between opposition parties, other EU governments and Ukraine, by mid-December.

Earlier Martin Schulz expressed his opinion concerning the provision of the visa-free regime for Ukrainians.