Dutch foreign minister under fire for lying about Putin
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Netherlands’ foreign minister is facing a tough debate in Parliament following his admission that he lied about attending a meeting hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin at his country retreat more than a decade ago.
Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra is expected to face hostile questions and calls for his resignation from opposition lawmakers at the debate Tuesday.
Zijlstra has in the past said he attended a 2006 meeting when Putin said he considered Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states as part of a “Greater Russia.”
On Monday, Zijlstra conceded he wasn’t present but heard the story from somebody who was. He said he considered Putin’s statements so geopolitically important that he spoke about them publicly and took credit for hearing the comments as a way of protecting his source.