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Diplomat says there's no Russian interference in Dutch referendum on Ukraine-EU agreement

April 01, 12:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On April 6, The Netherlands will hold a referendum on the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine
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© EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. There is no "Moscow hand" in the referendum on the Ukraine-EU association agreement that will be held in The Netherlands on April 6, Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview published by the Izvestia daily on Friday.

"I think that the fact that this referendum is not binding but advisory in nature is not of principal importance," Chizhov said. "In 2005, The Netherlands held a similar advisory referendum on the European Constitution draft." Chizhov recalled that the majority of the people voted against, and the Dutch government, "feeling the political responsibility, acted in accordance with that referendum results."

"If we talk in practical terms, I would like to disprove the words of those who allege that there is ‘Moscow’s hand’ in this referendum", the Russian diplomat said. "First of all, we never interfere in such matters, and in practical terms, it makes very little difference for Russia."

According to Chizhov, the temporary application of the relevant provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement started on January 1, "that is, the damage has already been done."

On April 6, The Netherlands will hold a referendum on the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. Although it is advisory in nature, its results can lead to serious differences in the political circles if the vote is declared valid and if the majority votes against the agreement.

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