The Prime Minister of the Netherlands refused to participate in the heads of the EU Summit with Putin. Poland and the Baltic countries also opposed.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte opposed the initiative of Germany and France to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to a summit with the leaders of the EU countries.

This article is available in Polish.

Rutte announced that he would not participate in the summit with Putin due to the crash of flight MH17 over Donbass in 2014 (a Malaysian Airlines Boeing crashed near Donetsk when it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014. 298 people died – most of them – citizens of the Netherlands. According to international investigators, the plane was shot down by separatists from a Buk air defense missile system delivered to Ukraine from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Air Defense Forces in Kursk. Moscow denies any involvement in the disaster. In March 2020, the trial of the crash of flight MH17 begun in the Netherlands).

At the same time, Rutte said that he would not mind if negotiations with Putin were held by the heads of the governing bodies of the European Union – the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also opposed the summit of EU leaders with Putin.

“A new high-level dialogue between the EU and Russia is possible only if Moscow stops its aggressive policy towards its neighbors,” said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. “The beginning of any direct dialogue at the highest political level is possible only in a situation where there is an actual de-escalation and an actual exit from an aggressive policy,” Moravetsky said. “For us, this is an unambiguous situation. When we see hybrid attacks on our neighbors, we think the context of the latest cyberattack – it is difficult to start a dialogue at the highest level, “added the head of the Polish government.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday, June 24, said that this idea is akin to “trying to attract a bear to save a pot of honey.”

“We must interact with Russia, but be very careful about the real intentions of the Putin regime,” Nauseda said. “We do not see any radical changes in Russia’s behavior so far,” the Lithuanian President said. “If – without any positive changes in Russia’s behavior – we begin to establish interaction with it, this will send very vague and bad signals, for example, to the countries of the Eastern Partnership,” he said.

Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets is convinced that before resuming high-level meetings between the EU and Russia, the Minsk agreements should be implemented to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. “Estonia’s position on this issue has long remained unambiguous: in search of changes in relations with Russia, it is important to be guided by the fact that Russia must first of all fulfill the Minsk agreements. After that we could reconsider the current policy.”

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte