Dutch prime minister, Russian president smooth troubled waters

Prime minister Mark Rutte and Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone on Monday evening to clear the air after a string of incidents threatened to derail the relationship between the countries.

The state information service RVD said the two leaders emphasised the diplomatic upsets in both countries ‘need to be overcome so the future becomes the focus’.

‘These unfortunate incidents do not stand in the way of a good relationship,’ the RVD statement said. The phone call was initiated by Rutte.


Earlier this month a Russian diplomat was arrested in The Hague after neighbours complained he was abusing his children. Several days later, a Dutch diplomat was attacked at his home in Moscow by two men.

Rutte and Putin also spoke of their wish for a successful round-off to the celebrations of 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima will attend a concert by the Dutch Concertgebouw orchestra in Moscow on November 9 to end the festivities. No decision has yet been take on whether the king should meet Putin.

The Netherlands Russia friendship year – the incidents

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