Leaving EU, restoring trade ties with Russia to be priority for Netherlands

Aug 19, 2016 12:00 AM

The Netherlands will be able to improve relations with Russia only after leaving the European Union, which will have an overall positive impact on the country’s future, founder and leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom Geert Wilders said.

Earlier, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom called for a referendum on EU membership to be held in the Netherlands. "Brussels should not dictate who we can have economic and political relations with. Restoring ties with Russia is a priority direction for the traditionally trade oriented country which is what the Netherlands has always been. For centuries our countries have benefited from bilateral cooperation despite conflicts. And today lifting the anti-Russian sanctions is a mandatory condition for our positive future," Wilders told the Russian Izvestia newspaper.

He stressed that the European Union is an "expansionist monster" and that Brussels only considers its own interests in making its decisions.

According to Wilders, the Netherlands will be economically stronger if it secures closer trade ties with Russia.

The European Union, the United States and some of their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea reunified with Russia in 2014, accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict.

Russia has repeatedly refuted the accusations, warning that the sanctions are counterproductive and undermine regional and global stability.

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