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Dutch Lawmakers Vote In Favor Of EU-Ukraine Deal

BRUSSELS -- The Netherlands' lower house of parliament has voted for the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, leaving a vote in the upper house -- the Dutch Senate -- as a final hurdle before the deal, which was signed in March 2014, finally can enter into force.

It has been expected that the House of Representatives would vote in favor of the deal, as the governing coalition enjoys a majority there.

The Senate vote is expected to take place only after the next month's parliamentary elections in the Netherlands on March 15, despite the fact that the composition of the Senate isn't affected by the general election.

The Netherlands is the only EU country that still hasn't ratified the Association Agreement with Ukraine after 61 percent voted against it in a citizen-driven referendum in the country in April 2016.

Although the result was consultative, the Dutch government decided to negotiate a legally binding supplement to the Association Agreement with the other 27 EU member states.

The supplement, which does not change the text of the actual agreement, was adopted at an EU summit in Brussels in December 2016 and outlined, among other things, that the EU-Ukraine deal doesn't give Kyiv the right to EU membership or guarantees of military support from the EU.

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