Hoekstra expels Russian diplomats

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The Netherlands chooses to expel Russian diplomats from the Netherlands. This has been announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a result, the Dutch consulate-general in Saint Petersburg has to close due to a lack of staff. The Russian trade office in Amsterdam must also close, Hoekstra Minister of Foreign Affairs has reported to the House of Representatives.

“Despite numerous attempts by the Netherlands to find a solution, Russia continues to try to get intelligence officers in the Netherlands under diplomatic cover,” explains Minister Hoekstra. “We cannot and will not allow that. At the same time, it is important to keep the embassies open as a communication channel, even now that relations with Russia are more difficult than ever.’

Intelligence officers

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, negotiations with Russia on the conditions under which diplomats are sent to diplomatic posts have so far failed. Russia continues to attempt to station intelligence officers in the Netherlands as diplomats. Russia also refuses to provide via for Dutch diplomats.

Within two weeks, the Russian diplomats who are not allowed to stay must leave the Netherlands. The Russian trade office in Amsterdam has to close its doors on February 21. The Dutch consulate-general in Saint Petersburg closes a day earlier, on February 20. As a result, help can no longer be offered to Dutch citizens and organisations. The embassy in Moscow will remain open.

Negotiations

Negotiations on visas for diplomats have been going on for almost a year. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Netherlands expelled 17 Russian intelligence officers in March 2022. In response, Russia expelled 15 Dutch diplomats. From that moment on, negotiations have been held to station new diplomats on both sides.

Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra expels Russian diplomats from the country.  (Photo: ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / Sandra Uittenbogaart)
Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra expels Russian diplomats from the country. (Photo: ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / Sandra Uittenbogaart) (ANP / Sandra Uittenbogaart)


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