Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said nearly two weeks ago that the so-called Icesave dispute would be taken into consideration when deciding whether to open negotiations. The European Commission had last month given its green light to open accession talks with Reykjavik.
As a member of the EU, Netherlands can block Iceland's bid to join the bloc, launched following the collapse of its financial system in 2008.
The Netherlands and Great Britain want Iceland to repay more than €3.9 billion in compensation the two EU countries paid out to local savers in Icelandic online banks who saw their deposits vanish in the meltdown.
"I would rather have them at the negotiation table than with their back turned to the EU," ANP quoted Verhagen as saying in the Dutch parliament.
Iceland's settlement of the debt was necessary, however, before it could become an EU member, Verhagen said.
"One way or another we have to continue with Iceland. One way or another we will have to get the money back," he added, according to ANP.
A spokesman for Verhagen was not immediately available to confirm the comments.
The Dutch finance ministry said on Monday that the Netherlands and Britain were ready to resume talks with Iceland in order to reach a repayment deal after negotiations collapsed at the start of March.
Iceland applied for EU membership last July following a razor-thin vote in parliament. But opinion polls now show EU entry, which would have to be approved in a referendum once entry talks had been concluded, is supported by less than a third of Icelanders.
(EurActiv with Reuters.)