The Netherlands threatens to sink EU/Ukraine trade agreement

It is the only country which has failed to ratify the treaty...

The Netherlands has said that it is prepared to scupper a proposed trade and security deal between Ukraine and the European Union.

Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte said that the country will not back the deal if provisions are not introduced to clarify that the "association agreement" is not a defense agreement - and it is not a step towards the country eventually joining the EU.

"If we do not get this we will put a law to parliament the next day, which will state that we will not ratify the association agreement," he told The Financial Times.

A referendum on this deal was defeated by a strong majority in The Netherlands in April.

This was partially due to genuine concerns about the deal - and partially was a protest vote as Eurosceptic politicians campaigned in favour of blocking the deal. The loss of 196 Dutch lives in the MH17 disaster when a passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine also weighed on that vote.

"The reason I am fighting for this is that I am absolutely convinced that Europe must be unified now towards Russia’s foreign policy," Mr Rutte continued. 

EU leaders will meet next week to try to save the deal, which has been supported by all countries apart from the Netherlands.

Some states support the deal as an olive branch to open a pathway for Ukraine to join the Union in the future - while others want a lose alliance as a stand against Russia's flexing in the region.