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European Commission expects Dutch decision after referendum on Ukraine — spokesman

April 07, 2016, 14:54 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has not ruled out that the country may refuse to ratify the EU-Ukraine association deal

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BRUSSELS, April 7. /TASS/. The Dutch authorities should take a decision following the referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters on Thursday.

It is "now first and foremost for the government of the Netherlands to analyze the outcome and decide on the course of action," the spokesman told a regular briefing, stressing that Wednesday’s vote will not affect the regime of temporary implementation of the EU-Ukraine association deal.

The spokesman said the EU’s relations with Ukraine remain the same and the decision on concluding the association agreement had been unanimously approved by all 28 member-states. He said that there is temporary implementation of the agreement but no ratification, adding that these are different things.

Schinas also said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is saddened by the outcome of the referendum and has already held detailed talks on the issue with the Dutch prime minister and the European Parliament president.

"The Commission remains strongly committed to the development of its relations with Ukraine," he said, adding that the outcome of the referendum will not influence the visa liberalization dialogue.

On Wednesday, the Dutch citizens were asked to answer the following question: "Are you for or against the ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU? "According to preliminary results, 61.1% of the Dutch people voted against the agreement while 38.1% voted for it.

The turnout was 32.2%, which is sufficient to ensure that the vote was declared valid (30%). The official results of the referendum will be announced by the Electoral Council of the Netherlands on April 12.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has not ruled out that the country may refuse to ratify the EU-Ukraine association deal.

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