The Dutch government accused Moscow of trying to send spies to the Netherlands and said “a large number” of diplomats would be deported.
The Dutch government said a “large number” of Russian diplomats had to leave the Netherlands, accusing Moscow of trying to smuggle spies into the country, which is home to institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the global chemical weapons watchdog. condemned.
Saturday’s announcement is the latest twist. diplomatic dispute between two countries It began shortly after Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago sparked war in the east of Europe.
“Despite repeated attempts by the Netherlands to find a solution, Russia continues to try to lure intelligence agents into the Netherlands under diplomatic cover,” Foreign Minister Wobke Hekstra said in a statement. there is,” he said.
“We cannot and will not allow it.”
He added, “It is important to keep the embassy open as a communication channel, even now that relations with Russia are more difficult than ever.”
Russian diplomats were given two weeks to leave the country. Russian trading offices in Amsterdam have been ordered to close by Tuesday.
The government said it had decided to limit the number of diplomats at the Russian embassy in The Hague to match the number of diplomats at the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
The government not only accuses Russia of trying to station spies in the Netherlands, but also denies Moscow granting visas to Dutch diplomats working at the Dutch consulate in St. Petersburg and the embassy in the Russian capital. said that
The Dutch government has announced that it will close its consulate in Saint Petersburg.
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Dutch government expelled 17 Russian intelligence officers. Russia responded by expelling 15 Dutch diplomats.
There was no immediate comment from Moscow.