Expert urges Dutch to resist Russian propaganda on eve of referendum on EU-Ukraine association

Expert urges Dutch to resist Russian propaganda on eve of referendum on EU-Ukraine association

Voting “no” to the Association of the European Union and Ukraine on 6 April referendum can lead to significant reputational losses for the Netherlands.

Director of the EU-Ukraine Business Council James Wilson told his opinion in his exclusive comments to the Ukrinform’s own correspondent in Brussels.

" The Kremlin has taken a strong interest in the vote, as a "no" vote would deliver a campaign victory for Russian propaganda which unashamedly seeks to break up the unity of the EU

All the evidence points to a Russian  finger in the trigger of a surface to air missile as the guilty culprit that brought down aircraft MH17 and murdered more than 100 Dutch citizens.

The Netherlands suffered more than any other Member State from this disaster, and it would be a double tragedy for the country if a "no" vote were to be returned," the British expert said.

According to the expert, “the Dutch are normally liberal, pragmatic free traders and entrepreneurs, and the arguments for a "Yes" vote are compelling.

Dutch business would enjoy improved market access for their products and services, and Dutch consumers would benefit from lower prices through the increased scale brought to the internal market by the free trade agreement with Ukraine. But votes of this type are never decided on rational grounds; they are decided on emotional grounds.

What is not clear is whether the Dutch voters will pander to aggressive soviet propaganda, and risk their country being branded as the soviet running dog of Europe, in the company of other political pariahs like the Front National in France, and UKIP in the United Kingdom.

But whatever the result, there will be profound implications for the ability of the EU to forge common foreign and security policy in the future. The stakes are high for EU Ukraine relations and EU Russian relations.”

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