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MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has rejected the statements made by Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert two weeks ago in an interview with the national daily NRC Handelsblat.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert claimed in an article on April 1 that Russian bombers systematically violated the airspace of the Netherlands and also urged to protest against the passage of Russian naval ships through the exclusive economic zone of the Netherlands and against Russian military threats to Baltic states.
As Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, "unfounded, unsubstantiated statements that have unfortunately become a visiting card of some Western politicians again cause bewilderment."
"First of all, we state officially that there were no violations of the Dutch airspace by the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Force. Secondly, the stay of Russian ships in the exclusive economic zone of a particular state, including the Netherlands, takes place in full compliance with international law provisions, namely, the UN Law of the Sea Convention of 1982. Thirdly, which specific military threat to the Baltic states is meant?" he said.
According to Antonov, in her article the Dutch defense minister referred to her rich experience of work in Riga where, as she put it, she had had the possibility to see with her own eyes the existence of these threats.
"However, Mrs. Hennis-Plasschaert doesn’t specify in her article what exactly terrible she saw in those years in Latvia," the Russian deputy defense minister said.
"In this connection, only one thing has to be noted: such untrue and insulting pronouncements by the Dutch politician addressed to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation testify to the deliberate anti-Russian campaign carried out by the current Dutch leadership," Antonov said.