A repeated lie since 2015 has forced Dutch foreign minister, Halbe Zijlstra, to present resignation to fabricate his own dose of fake news, has weakened government and has rarefied bilateral relations with Russia. The politician claimed that in 2006 he heard President Vladimir Putin mention his expansionary plans to create great Russia in course of a meeting in his dacha. Although Zijlstra tells story since 2015, he was never in country house in question and affirmation came from hearsay. This Tuesday, Congress has riddled him with questions shortly before it was to be his first official trip to Moscow.
The Russian embassy in The Hague, on its side, has denounced " flow of anti-Russian propaganda". "Officials and Dutch press claim that Russia is obsessed with notion of great Russia. That can only come out of those who see it as an enemy and want to expand NATO's radius of action, with excuse that re is a threat, " Russian diplomatic text says.
In Dutch Congress, opposition in plenary was ready to put Halbe Zijlstra against ropes, and refore center-right government for defending him. Both Mark Rutte, prime minister, as Kajsa Ollongren, an Interior proprietor, have underlined that " message transmitted at time by Minister today is auntic, although way to reveal it is erroneous."
Zijlstra has repeatedly said in public that he heard Putin explaying about Russian influence that should encompass "Ukraine, Belarus, and Baltic States; Kazakhstan would be fine, too. " Given geopolitical importance of matter, almost a declaration of war in Sordina, in his opinion, Dutchman considered it necessary to make it public in due time. Although he adorned story by saying that he was "in a discrete area", in 2006 he was only an employee of multinational Shell oil that never stepped into Putin's country residence.
When Volkskrant's Rotary confronted him last weekend with that detail, he admitted his absence from Russian dacha on day of cars. "But I presented it like this to protect my source," he said. It turned out to be Jeroen van der Veer, n CEO of Shell, who was re. The firm had business in Russia, and now, dragged by maelstrom unleashed, entrepreneur has been forced to discover. He pointed out that Zijlstra "may not have captured context of Putin's words, which he spoke from a historical point of view; Not in warlike terms. "
The muddle has furr complicated difficult relationship between Holland and Russia on MH17 flight tragedy. In July 2014, Malaysian Airline aircraft, which covered Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route, was shot down in Ukraine's airspace by a Russian-made Buk missile. Their 298 occupants were killed, and Moscow has vetoed creation of a special international tribunal to judge attack. The lie of Minister Zijlstra has nothing to do with it, but in an international context of obsession with false news it can weaken same government that he represented as head of diplomacy.