Dutch minister to face parliament over false Putin claim




  • In World
  • 2018-02-13 15:56:51Z
  • By Reuters
Russian President Putin attends a session at the Week of Russian Business, organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in Moscow
Russian President Putin attends a session at the Week of Russian Business, organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in Moscow  

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government lurched toward political crisis on Tuesday as parliament ordered Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra to face questions for lying about witnessing Vladimir Putin outline a strategy for a greater Russia.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has defended the minister despite having known since late January that Zijlstra had made up the story about Russia's president, was summoned to attend the session with lawmakers, set to begin at 1600 GMT.

Zijlstra admitted on Monday that he lied in 2016 when he said he had attended a meeting a decade earlier at which Putin reportedly spoke of plans for regional expansion.

He said he did not in fact attend the meeting but had heard second hand about the president's remarks - comments that led opposition parties to demand his resignation and that the Russian Embassy dismissed on Tuesday as "fake news".

Zijlstra is due to travel to Moscow for a previously scheduled meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

So far the governing parties, including the ruling Liberal VVD party, have stood by Zijlstra, but all parties have supported the call for him to appear in parliament, which has the power to dismiss him.

De Volkskrant reported on Tuesday that Zijlstra had misrepresented Putin's comments, citing an email from former Shell chief executive Jeroen van der Veer, who was at the meeting and the daily newspaper said was the source of the claim.

The Russian Embassy said in a statement that Zijlstra's allegations "do not hold up against any criticism and are only intended to spread false perceptions of Russia's intentions."

"Russia is being blamed for disseminating disinformation," the embassy said in a statement. "Dutch officials are constantly making such unfounded statements. ..Isn't this an example of fake news directed against our country?"

The dispute comes at bad time for the Dutch, who are preparing indictments against suspects in the downing in July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with 196 Dutch citizens on board.

Dutch authorities have said the passenger airline was brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile, fired from territory held by pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine. Russia has denied this.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and John Stonestreet)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Russia: U.S. Withdrawal From Nuclear Treaty Would Be A
Russia: U.S. Withdrawal From Nuclear Treaty Would Be A 'Very Dangerous Step'

The risks to global security could be severe if the U.S. pulls out of the

Russia warns Trump over
Russia warns Trump over 'dangerous' plan to quit nuclear treaty

Moscow on Sunday warned US President Donald Trump that his plan to ditch a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia was a dangerous step. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that withdrawal "would be a very dangerous step" and said Washington faced international condemnation in its bid for "total supremacy" in the military sphere.

Trump says U.S. to exit nuclear treaty, Russia says dangerous move
Trump says U.S. to exit nuclear treaty, Russia says dangerous move
  • World
  • 2018-10-21 08:59:07Z

President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States will exit the Cold-War era treaty that eliminated a class of nuclear weapons due to Russian violations, a move an official in Moscow called a dangerous attempt at blackmail. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated by then-President

Donald Trump says US to withdraw from nuclear weapons pact due to Russian violations
Donald Trump says US to withdraw from nuclear weapons pact due to Russian violations

Donald Trump on Saturday announced the US is to pull out of a landmark nuclear agreement with Russia, accusing the Kremlin of violating its terms. Mr Trump did not offer specific details on how Moscow had violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, but during the past four years America has repeatedly argued that Russia has been in breach of the agreement with its aggressive actions against former Soviet states in Europe. "Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years," said Mr Trump after a campaign rally in Nevada.  "And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not...

Trump says US will pull out of intermediate range nuke pact
Trump says US will pull out of intermediate range nuke pact
  • World
  • 2018-10-20 21:04:34Z

ELKO, Nevada (AP) - President Donald Trump said Saturday he will pull the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia has violated the agreement, but provided no details on the violations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.