Tuesday 20 August 2019

Russia sends home two Dutch diplomats in nerve gas tit-for-tat

Russia is expelling two Dutch diplomats in a tit-for-tat operation following the Netherlands’ decision to send two Russians home.

The two have been told to leave Moscow within two weeks. Yesterday Moscow said it would expel 150 diplomats, the same number as sent back by western countries earlier in the week.

‘It is not a message which you want to hear but there is a reason why we have expelled two Russian diplomats,’ ambassador Renee Jones-Bos told reporters in Moscow.

‘There has been a terrible attack with chemical weapons in Sailsbury in Europe and that is why the Netherlands has taken action. This is the retaliation.’

 

The relationship between the Netherlands and Russia has been strained for some time. Last December, Ollongren said the Russian security services are trying to influence public opinion in the Netherlands by spreading fake news.

Foreign minister Stef Blok told reporters on Friday that the Russian move is not unexpected.

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