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Russia’s upper house speaker says situation in Netherlands discredits idea of referendums

April 23, 18:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Over 60% said No to ratification of the Association Agreement of Ukraine and the European Union. However, the parliament has made the opposite decision," Valentina Matviyenko said
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Russian Federation Council upper parliamentary house Speaker Valentina Matviyenko

Russian Federation Council upper parliamentary house Speaker Valentina Matviyenko

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The situation in the Netherlands around the referendum on the EU association agreement with Ukraine discredits the very idea of referendums, Russia’s Federation Council upper parliamentary house Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Saturday.

"There is the recent referendum in Holland where over 60% said No to ratification of the Association Agreement of Ukraine and the European Union. However, the parliament has made the opposite decision," Matviyenko said in a televised interview in the Sunday ‘Pozdnyakov’ program. The NTV channel released some extracts of the interview on its website on Saturday.

"That discredits the very idea of referendums," she said.

The Netherlands held the referendum on ratification of the EU-Ukraine association agreement on April 6. About 2.5 million people, or 61% of Dutch voters, said No whereas 1.6 million, or 38.21%, backed the agreement. The turnout was 32.28%, or slightly over the 30-percent threshold needed for considering the vote to be valid. The referendum results are non-binding on the government.

On April 19, the Dutch parliament turned down the proposal to cancel ratification of the Ukraine-EU deal.

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