EU's Juncker saddened by Dutch vote on Ukraine

A microphone is adjusted for remarks of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of an EU leaders summit over migration in Brussels, Belgium, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was saddened by the outcome of a Dutch referendum that overwhelmingly rejected a Ukraine-European Union treaty on closer political and economic ties, the Commission said on Thursday.

“The president is sad,” European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a regular news briefing.

However, he said the referendum would not affect the wider EU deal on closer ties with Ukraine and it was up to the Dutch government to analyze the outcome of Wednesday’s vote.

“The Commission remains strongly committed to the development of its relations with Ukraine,” he said.

Asked whether the Commission still intended to propose liberalization of visa requirements for Ukrainians this month, he noted that Juncker had previously proposed this.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop and Barbara Lewis