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Dutch foreign minister has stepped down after admitting he lied: "Greater Russia"
Do svidanja! VVD /ALDE / VVD HALBE ZIJLSTRA
The Dutch foreign minister has stepped down after admitting he lied about being in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During his campaign for the March 2017
election, Mr Zijlstra claimed he had personally heard Mr Putin speak of
creating a "Greater Russia" in 2006.
The Dutch minister was just hours away from an official trip to Moscow.
"I see no other option today than to hand
in my resignation to his majesty the King," said Mr Zijlstra a day
after admitting his lie.
He said that with hindsight, he had made the
biggest mistake of his political career and that the Netherlands
deserved a foreign minister that was above all doubt.
But while acknowledging that his actions
were stupid, Mr Zijlstra has continued to say that Mr Putin did actually
speak those words and that by lying he was purely trying to protect a
source who had been present at the gathering.
He had only been foreign minister for four months.