Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to participate in the Russia — EU summit if it takes place in the format of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is reported by the publication De Telegraaf.
Rutte said that his reluctance to participate in the meeting with Putin is connected with the case of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17, in which 192 Dutch citizens were killed. Currently, a trial is underway in The Hague in this case, four people who are currently in Russia are accused of it. Moscow considers the conclusions of the investigation premature.
At the same time, according to Rutte, he has nothing against the meeting of other EU representatives with the Russian president.
“But I will not take part in this meeting myself,” the Prime Minister of the Netherlands added.
The leaders of Latvia and Lithuania also spoke out against the summit with Putin. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called the possible Russia-EU meeting “an attempt to secure a jar of honey by coming into contact with a bear.”
The idea to hold the first Russia — EU summit in seven years was expressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The initiative was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.