Brussels 19.02.2023 THE HAGUE, February 18. /TASS/. The Netherlands has decided to reduce the number of Russian diplomats present in the country, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday, February 19.
“The cabinet has decided that the Russian embassy in The Hague may no longer have more diplomats than the Dutch embassy in Moscow,” the statement said. “Some Russian diplomats will therefore have to leave the Netherlands.” However, ministers did not inform about numbers of diplomats to be subjected to this measure.
The Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation suggested that about ten diplomats would be expelled and that they would leave the country within two weeks.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry said that the talks with Russia on the terms of diplomats’ tenure had been unsuccessful to date.
The Dutch foreign ministry insists that “Russia keeps trying to secretly deploy intelligence officers in the Netherlands as diplomats.” In response Russia “refuses to issue visas for Dutch diplomats to work at the consulate general in St. Petersburg and the Embassy in Moscow.”
“The Dutch Consulate general in St. Petersburg will have to close temporarily due to staff shortages,” the statement said.
“The cabinet has also decided that the Russian trade office in Amsterdam must close,” the Dutch foreign ministry added.
The Dutch Consulate general in St. Petersburg will close on February 20. The Russian trade office in Amsterdam is ordered to shunt its doors on February 21.
“This means that, among other things, assistance to Dutch citizens and organizations will no longer be provided from St. Petersburg. The Netherlands’ embassy in Moscow will remain open,” the Ministry added.
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, the Netherlands expelled 17 Russian diplomats. In retaliation Russia ordered 15 Dutch diplomats out of the country. After this reduction of diplomatic presence, according to the Dutch foreign ministry, the two countries were in unsuccessful talks on the deployment of new diplomats.