Ukraine minister surprised by fuss around Netherlands' referendum

Pavlo Klimkin (Photo: Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons)Pavlo Klimkin (Photo: Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons)

Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin is surprised by the commotion the association agreement between his country and the EU is causing in the Netherlands, he said in an interview with the Volkskrant.

"I never thought that this would be such a controversial issue", he said to the newspaper. According to him, the association agreement is a means to help the Ukraine reform and lave its Soviet past behind it. "The European Union is an example for us when it comes to democracy, human rights and the rule of law."

Klimkin believes that the Netherlands' population has the wrong idea about the association agreement. "For example that the EU will be swamped by Ukrainians. The agreement does not open the door for that", he said. The agreement also does not mean membership to the EU for the Ukraine or that more EU money will go to the country, he said.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed these same issues in an interview with last week. The Netherlands' referendum on the association agreement with the Ukraine is scheduled for Wednesday.