Dutch FM Resigns After Lying About Putin Scheme

PM Defends Him, Says Made Up Story 'Reflects Reality'

Fresh off of admitting that he’d lied about a massive Russian plot during his campaigning two years ago, Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra has announced his resignation, effective immediately.

Former Dutch FM Halbe Zjilstra

Zijlstra claimed that he had been hiding in a back room of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dacha when Putin told somebody else he intended to take over Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and all the Baltic states to form a “Greater Russia.”

Since admitting he made the whole thing up, Zijlstra was under pressure to resign, but in doing so he’s also set the stage for a vote of no confidence on Prime Minister Mark Rutte that could bring down his government.

Rutte is defiant, however, insisting that while Zijlstra’s story might be made up, in as much as he made it up, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal because it rings true given “what Russia has done in the past.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.