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Russia regrets Netherlands’ attempts to politicize cultural ties

May 26, 2016, 18:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Foreign Ministry commented on a new concept of Dutch international cultural policy for 2017-2020, which puts Russia on the list of countries ‘around Europe’

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© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khameliyanin

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russia regrets attempts in the Netherlands to politicize centuries-long cultural ties between the countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in comments on a new concept of Dutch international cultural policy for 2017-2020 presented by the Dutch Culture Ministry.

"Under this document, achievements of Dutch culture will now be used for political expediency - they will turn into an instrument of extending ‘European norms and values’ to other countries and interference in their internal affairs," the commentary said.

"As is maintained, cultural tools along with political, military and humanitarian methods, will be used by the Netherlands to fight against ‘the ring of instability around Europe’," the ministry said.

"In this context, it is surprising that in their new concept, reputed Dutch agencies put Russia, which is an inalienable part of the European space, on the list of countries ‘around Europe’," the ministry said.

"Practically in favor of political environment created by the West itself, the Netherlands tries to shrug off an impressive and productive layer of bilateral ties, in which joint cultural, scientific-educational, art, urban and design projects have always had a major role," the ministry commentary went on.

Russia regrets "an attempt of the official Hague to politicize centuries-long cultural ties between our countries," it said.

"We are confident that cultural cooperation should unite people instead of disuniting them," it said, mentioning the recent cross-years of Russian and Dutch culture that focused on cultural cooperation. "Culture, which is an efficient means of communication among nations and mutual enrichment, must never become hostage of political games," it added.

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