The Netherlands authorities decided to amend the text of the agreement on the association between Ukraine and the EU which would exclude the possibility of Kiev’s use of EU financial resources as well as deprive Ukraine of any guarantees for EU membership.
The Dutch have decided to take this step after the April referendum on which Dutch citizens voted against the ratification of the agreement on association with Ukraine.
“The government in The Hague prefers quiet diplomacy behind the scenes. And now, when the Netherlands chairs in the EU, they have an opportunity to try to change some points in the EU treaty with Ukraine”, Mark Rutte said.
In particular, it’s about an exclusion from the agreement of item on cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of defense, or at least to ease conditions for such cooperation.
Hague explains his position by the fact that the preservation of security in Europe and Ukraine is not included in the EU’s objectives, this should be handled by NATO.
In addition, the Dutch want guarantees that Ukraine “won’t get automatic access to EU’s financial sources”.
“Third, the agreement on Kiev’s association with the EU doesn’t ensure that Ukraine could be accepted as the 29th EU member state”, the diplomat said.
To change the text of the EU-Ukraine agreement, The Hague will have to seek the consent of all EU Member States who had already ratified it in its current form.
“We’re getting the positive signals from the rest of the 27 member countries. EU member states have an understanding of our problem, which we received after the referendum”, noted the Dutch diplomat.
At the same time, Poland and the three Baltic countries, whose consent is also necessary, oppose the change of the agreement. In particular, they insist on maintaining the item on military-technical cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.
It should be noted that the Netherlands are unlikely to reach a decision before June 23, when a referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU will be held. Moreover, Ukraine’s consent is also required to change the terms of the agreement.
Earlier, the Dutch parliament rejected a proposal to abolish the ratification of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. It was reported that the Netherlands found “certain nuances” in the case of the MH17 Boeing tragedy.