Dutch PM: Post-MH17 sanctions against Russia must stay

EU needs to 'step up game' with reform: Netherlands PM

Sanctions against Russia should remain in place, and Russia must "stop interfering in Eastern Ukraine," according to Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the country where flight MH17 originated.

In July, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 carrying 298 passengers and crew members, including 196 Dutch nationals, was shot down over Ukraine, apparently by Russian-backed militants. The tragedy triggered a wave of international condemnation and economic sanctions against Russian businesses and wealthy individuals.

Rutte told CNBC at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland that it's important that there be no "political sting" to the "independent" investigation into what happened to the flight, which is being run in the Netherlands.

The economy

European countries should not rely on the European Central Bank (ECB) to restore their economies to health, Rutte warned, ahead of Thursday's policy meeting where the ECB is expected to announce a quantitative program.

Will Russian sanctions be lifted?

"The ECB cannot say we are going to do A and B and countries then have to do Y and Z. The ECB has to play its part, but at the same time it is up to the countries to do what they have to do," Rutte told CNBC.

Rutte, who leads the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) party, governs as part of a coalition with the left-leaning Labour Party. He faces an increasing challenge from the populist, anti-EU Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, as the people of the Netherlands express frustration at the post-credit crisis collapse in the country's housing market, and the most recent year-and-a-half long recession.

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Despite this, he defended the austerity-driven policies, pointing to improved economic performance in the last half of 2014.

"This recipe of austerity, reforms, [and] investments is the only answer," Rutte said.

Of course we have to do this in the right way, the sensible way, he said, but you need to apply the full mix of austerity, reforms and investment.