Juncker: 'Dutch negative vote on Ukraine-EU Association could spark continental crisis'
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that a Dutch advisory referendum in April on the EU bloc's Association Agreement with Ukraine could lead to a "continental crisis" if voters reject the treaty.
In an interview published by the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad on Saturday, Juncker said Russia would "pluck the fruits" of a vote in the Netherlands against deepened ties between the European Union and Ukraine.
"I want the Dutch to understand that the importance of this question goes beyond the Netherlands," NRC quoted Juncker as saying. "I don't believe the Dutch will say no, because it would open the door to a big continental crisis," he added.
As reported, public-initiated referendum on Ukraine-EU Association Agreement in the Netherlands on April 6, 2016 is not of obligatory character. However, if the majority of Dutch say no, the government will have to "revise its decision."
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in January that the Dutch government planned to hold a promotion campaign for Ukraine before the referendum.