Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met for talks in Moscow on Friday morning, with the MH17 investigation and Syria top of the agenda.
The relationship between Russia and the Netherlands is going through ‘difficult times’, Blok said after the meeting. Relations have been particularly frosty since last year, when home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren said the Russian security services are trying to influence public opinion in the Netherlands by spreading fake news.
The Netherlands has also agreed to expel two Russian diplomats in the tit for tat expulsions following the nerve gas attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Today’s talks, however, focused on the investigation into the MH17 disaster and Russia’s role in Syria.
‘It should be clear that it is difficult to reach an agreement,’ Blok said, adding that he expected Lavrov to support an independent UN investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Douma. ‘To date, it has not,’ Blok said.
Lavrov told waiting reporters that Russian experts had found no traces of chemical weapons and that he did not expect the chemical weapons watchdog OPCW to find any either, broadcaster NOS reported.
Blok also told reporters that the spreading of false information about the bringing down of MH17 was causing unnecessary paid to the relatives of the victims.
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