Van Bommel: end the ‘Netherlands-Russia Year’

16 October 2013

Van Bommel: end the ‘Netherlands-Russia Year’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel believes that the physical attack on a Dutch diplomat in Russia should put an immediate end to the festivities around the Netherlands-Russia Year. King Willem-Alexander must reconsider plans to visit Russia on November 9th, Van Bommel argues. ‘The last few weeks have seen a rapid sequence of incidents between the Netherlands and Russia,’ he says. ‘There is really no reason any more to go ahead with a festive end to the bilateral year.’

Harry van BommelOn Tuesday evening the Dutch deputy ambassador was physically attacked in his home in Moscow. Two men entered his home, tied him up and turned the place upside down. During the attack, the diplomat was wounded. The Netherlands-Russia Year had already come under pressure from a number of incidents, including the arrest of the crew of a Greenpeace ship and the detaining of a Russian diplomat in the Netherlands suspected of abuse of his children.

'Maltreatment of a Dutch diplomat is unacceptable,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Diplomats must be able to do their work in complete security. If no guarantees are given for the safety of Dutch diplomats then the King should reconsider his visit to Russia. Diplomats are there, after all, in the King’s name.’

Cartoon: Arend van Dam - “You must dance to my pipes.”

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