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Dutch FM against hasty decisions that might complicate Netherlands relations with Russia

October 17, 2013, 23:27 UTC+3

Frans Timmermans once again expressed objections to the cancellation of the visit to Russia by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima

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Frans Timmermans

Frans Timmermans


THE HAGUE, October 17 (Itar-Tass) - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Frans Timmermans on Thursday once again expressed objections to curtailing functions of the Russian-Dutch crossover year and the cancellation of the visit to Russia by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima scheduled for November 9. The foreign minister voiced this view in the debates in the lower house of parliament where some deputies from the Democrats ‘66, the Labour Party and the Socialist Party called for such measures in response to the incident with a Dutch diplomat in Moscow.

Two unidentified men had beaten the diplomat in his flat which they penetrated on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The Deputy Head of the Netherlands mission in Moscow, Otto Elderenbosch, 60, was approached at his home by men who presented themselves as electricians who then beat him up.

While acknowledging that relations between the Netherlands and Russia were complicated at present, Timmermans made a warning against “hasty and short-sighted actions”. This view is shared by the majority of deputies who refused to heed the calls of hotheads while expressing the wish that Dutch diplomats could work safely in Russia.

Asked about his attitude to Moscow’s refusing to regard the incident with the arrest of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian embassy in the Netherlands Dmitry Borodin as ultimately settled, Timmermans said “this is nothing new” to the Dutch Foreign Ministry. “We are aware of this stand,” he said, adding that Dutch diplomats on Thursday met again with Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands Roman Kolodkin and supplied additional information to him. “The ambassador knows our opinion of what has happened,” Timmermans said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told a briefing in Moscow on Thursday that Moscow is not satisfied with the Netherlands’ response to the incident with the Russian diplomat. Lukashevich said that those guilty should be strictly punished and that material and moral damage to Dmitry Borodin should be redressed.

On November 9 the Netherlands officially apologised to Russia, acknowledging that the arrest and detention of a Russian diplomat having full immunity was breaching the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.


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