February 13, 2018 – FRN –
Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra, who confessed to lying about meeting with Vladimir Putin, has resigned.
“I made the wrong decision, I should not have done this … I do not see any other option than to resign,” said Zijlstra,
This decision was made on the eve of his scheduled negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that they are waiting for the arrival of the Dutch minister and there are no changes from the Russian side.
Zijlstra confessed that his previous story about how he was present at the meeting with the Russian president at his dacha in 2006 was untrue. According to him, he made up the deception in order to protect the real participant of this meeting, who shared information with him on Putin, Said information alleged that Putin called Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltics and Kazakhstan parts of “great Russia”. Since 2014, Zijlstra has repeatedly stated that he witnessed these words personally.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Foreign Minister acted “unreasonably”, but can remain in his post. Opposition parties demanded that the discussion of the incident be brought to parliament, prompting the premier to participate in the debate.
Who was actually present at Putin’s dacha [holiday home]?
Former Shell director Jeroen van der Veer revealed that it was he who told Zijlstra the story of the meeting with Putin.
According to him, it was he who was at the dacha of the Russian president, and then gave the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the statement. Whether or not that’s true, remains a mystery.