Dutch Foreign Minister resigns in lies about Russia scandal

Dutch ex-Minister Halbe Zijlstra at football match

This photoshopped picture shows Dutch politician Halbe Zijlstra, supposedly present at a match of the Dutch national football team. This picture and many similar ones mock Zijlstra about lying that he supposedly met Russian President Putin.

Today, Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra of the right-wing VVD party has resigned.

He resigned because of a scandal: the lies which he told about supposedly meeting President Putin at Putin’s dacha (second home) in 2006, when Zijlstra was a Shell employee.

Putin supposedly then, according to Zijlstra, said he wanted a ‘Greater Russia’, consisting of ‘Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States, and Kazakhstan was nice to have’.

Yesterday, Minister Zijlstra admitted he had lied: he had never met Putin. However, he apparently had thought this lie would do well at the congress of his party to incite delegates into demanding spending more taxpayers’ money on defence war, leading to more profits for defence merchants of death corporations.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Rutte, a VVD member like Zijlstra, claimed that Zijlstra lying was not good, but that the could continue as foreign minister. As the lying supposedly was only that Zijlstra himself had heard Putin speak aggressive militarist language. Zijlstra and Rutte yesterday claimed that Zijlstra heard about Putin speaking aggressive militarist language from another person who indeed had met Putin.

Today, it turned out  that Zijlstra had not only lied about meeting Putin, but about what Putin had supposedly said as well. Zijlstra had heard about a talk with Putin from his boss, then Shell oil CEO Jeroen van der Veer. Van der Veer said, however, that Zijlstra had twisted Van der Veer’s words about what Putin had said. Putin had used the phrase ‘Greater Russia’ not in an aggressive military sense, but in saying Russia used to be bigger long ago. Van der Veer had also not mentioned to Zijlstra that Putin supposedly named countries like Kazakhstan, and the expression ‘nice to have’ was not Putin’s or Van der Veer’s, but a product of Zijlstra’s imagination.

6 thoughts on “Dutch Foreign Minister resigns in lies about Russia scandal

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