Source: Schengen Visa Info
Russian diplomats will no longer be stationed in the Netherlands in numbers greater than those of the Dutch embassy in Moscow, according to announcements made by Dutch authorities.
“Russia is trying to place intelligence officers as diplomats (while refusing to) issue visas for Dutch diplomats to staff the consulate-general in Saint Petersburg and the embassy in Moscow"
Negotiations with Russia on the conditions under which diplomats are sent back and forth to diplomatic posts failed, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Russia is trying to place intelligence officers as diplomats in the Netherlands, but it is not issuing visas for Dutch diplomats deployed in Saint Petersburg and in the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
This has been described as an unacceptable action by the Dutch authorities, and for this reason, the government has decided to limit the number of Russian diplomats permitted to remain in the Netherlands.
“Russia is trying again and again covertly to place intelligence officers in the Netherlands as diplomats. At the same time, Russia refuses to issue visas for Dutch diplomats to staff the consulate-general in Saint Petersburg and the embassy in Moscow,” the statement of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads, calling these acts unacceptable.
The Ministry further stressed that in line with the decision that the Dutch authorities have taken, a number of Russian diplomats will have to exit the territory of the Netherlands.
The same pointed out that the Dutch consulate-general in Saint Petersburg will have to close for the time being due to a shortage of personnel.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the Dutch cabinet has also decided that the Russia trade office in Amsterdam must close.
Commenting on the matter, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra, said that the Netherlands will not allow Russia to bring intelligence officers into the Netherlands under diplomatic cover.
Moreover, he emphasized that they will attempt to keep the embassies open even though the relations between the countries as more tense than ever.
“Russia continues to try to get intelligence officers in the Netherlands under diplomatic cover. We cannot and will not allow that,” Hoekstra stated.
Now that the Dutch authorities have taken a decision on the matter, diplomats from Russia who can no longer stay in the Netherlands must leave within two weeks. As for the Russian trade office in Amsterdam, it has been revealed that the office must be closed from February 21.
On the other hand, the Dutch consulate-general in Saint Petersburg closed yesterday, February 20. The Dutch embassy in Moscow will continue to remain open.
This is not the first time that the Dutch and the Russian authorities have faced issues regarding their diplomatic relations.
Earlier in 2022, the Netherlands stopped issuing visas to citizens of Russia as the latter expelled Dutch diplomats, including the entire visa section staff, from the country.