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EU must rally against threat from US, Russia: Dutch PM

AFP  |  Strasbourg (France) 

Dutch today urged the to rally urgently behind a rules-based international order against threats from and even the

"Even the relationship with our most important ally is no longer self evident," said in a speech to the in Strasbourg, which won a standing ovation.

echoed EU alarm over US Donald Trump's decisions to pull out of the Climate Agreement and the nuclear deal as well as to impose tariffs on European and aluminium.

But he urged the 28-nation bloc to "keep working as closely as possible with the United States," which he said remained an ally nevertheless.

He said he stood before the parliament, the EU's only directly elected body, with "a real sense of urgency" because the bloc's way of conducting international relations can no longer be taken for granted.

"The multilateral order is being challenged in a way that we haven't seen in decades, and the geopolitical balance of power is shifting," Rutte warned.

"We must deal with the fact that has chosen to distance itself from the neighbours in the West," said Rutte, whose country last month formally accused of being responsible for the shooting down of flight MH17 over in 2014. The flight was en route from

Rutte also said the rise of economic powers and brought both challenges and opportunities for the "EU as the world's biggest trading bloc and as a leading force for peace, stability and development." vice Frans Timmermans, a fellow Dutchman, underscored Rutte's points on the threat from the

"For the first time since 1945, we now have a in the who apparently believes that a disunited is more in the interests of the United States than in a United Europe," Timmermans.

"Again this calls for to be united," Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister, told the parliament. Praising past presidents and for fighting for European freedom, Timmermans said shared European and US values cannot be destroyed by one US president.

"The more unity has on the basis of international rules, on the basis of our values, the more chance we will have to help the Americans return to the same path," Timmermans said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 18:35 IST