Prime Minister Mark Rutte "underestimated" the impact Halbe Zijlstra's lie about being at a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin would have, he said in a parliamentary debate following the Foreign Affairs Minister's resignation on Tuesday. He understands Zijlstra's decision to step down, Rutte added, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Russian embassy released a statement criticizing the Netherlands following Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs admitting that he lied about attending a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006. The embassy accuses the Netherlands of "persistently" propagating an image of Russia having aggressive intentions to the Dutch public. "As we can see, this is the reason behind this whole story with the alleged meeting between Minister Zijlstra and President Putin", the statement, in broadcaster NOS' possession, reads.
A half-Russian Tilburg man pressed discrimination charges against D66 leader Alexander Pechtold over is reaction to the affair around Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra lying about a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs will face a critical Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. The lower house of Dutch parliament will discuss him lying about personally attending a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006. Not only was he not at the meeting, but he also misinterpreted Putin's statements given to him by his source who was there, the source - former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer told the Volkskrant.
Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs admitted that he lied about meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2006. While speaking at a VVD conference in 2016, Zijlstra said that he heard Putin speaking about 'Great Russia' in 2006. Now he says that he wasn't there himself, but an anonymous source. He wanted to protect the identity of his source by saying he was there himself, he told the Volkskrant.