Dutch foreign minister resigns after lying about Putin

Halbe Zijlstra’s resignation comes a day after he admitted lying about Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Abdullah Asiran

THE HAGUE (AA) - Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra on Tuesday resigned a day after he admitted lying about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 2016, Zijlstra claimed at the People's Party for Liberty and Democracy’s (VVD) congress that Putin had expressed ambitions to create a “Greater Russia” in 2006.

He announced his resignation in an emotional speech to the House of Representatives.

Zijlstra described his lie as the “biggest mistake” in his political career and said the country deserves an undoubted foreign minister.

His resignation came a day before his scheduled official visit to Moscow, where he was expected to meet his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

The “Greater Russia” scandal has finished Zijlstra’s four month-term as the foreign minister of the Netherlands, as he assumed the post only back in Oct. 2017.

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