The Dutch diplomatic network is in a "worrying state" and "urgently" needs to be strenghtened to avoid a diplomatic crisis, the advice council for international issues AIV said in a report on Wednesday. The new government will have to invest an extra 70 to 80 million euros annually into the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the report states according to ANP.
The investigation into the MH17 disaster is in a difficult phase and far from over, the Public Prosecutor wrote in a digital magazine meant to keep the victims' relatives informed about what is happening in the MH17 file. The investigators are having trouble getting data from the Ukrainian secret service and cooperation with Russia remains difficult, the Prosecutor wrote on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The investigation is now in its "most difficult phase", the Prosecutor wrote. "Booking progress at this stage is much more difficult."
The number of cross-border child abductions in the Netherlands showed a significant increase in 2016. Last year a total of 251 children were reported kidnapped to the Dutch center of international child abductions IKO, 14 more than in 2015, the center announced according to RTL Nieuws.
Most of these abductions involved a parent taking a child abroad following a divorce or separation. Most of the abducted children were below the age of 6, the youngest one was two months old at the time of abduction. In 70 percent of the cases, the perpetrator is female.
The net is closing around the people responsible for the downing of flight MH17. Former Russian soldier Sergej Doebinski was identified on audio recordings as the person who arranged the transport of the BUK missile that shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine, RTL Nieuws reports.
Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta spoke to the person who identified Doebinski. Doebinski is an old acquaintance of the man and he recognized his voice. At the time of the MH17 disaster, Doebinski was fighting with separatists against the Ukrainian army.
Russia denies hacking into other countries' IT systems. On Monday the Dutch military intelligence agency reported that Russia tried to hack into the computers of Dutch weapons manufacturers. But according to the Kremlin, this is not true, RTL Nieuws reports.
Russia's efforts to destabilize the Netherlands, Europe and NATO are so serious that military intelligence agency MIVD considers it the second largest security risk to the Netherlands and the Western world in general. Terrorism stands in first place, MIVD General Major Onno Eichelsheim said at the presentation of the agency's annual report on Monday, NU.nl reports.
The municipality of Amsterdam calls on the Dutch government to admonish Russia about camps in Chechnya in which homosexual men are being locked up, alderman Eric van der Burg said at a protest against these camps at the gay monument in the Dutch capital on Wednesday. Amsterdam also wants State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice to change the asylum policy for Chechen LGBT men, ANP reports.
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wants to keep Dutch soldiers in Lithuania for longer, she said during a visit to the soldiers there. Officially the mission ends at the end of this year, but she thinks the Dutch aid will be needed for longer, RTL Nieuws reports.
"We will stay here for as long as die situation requires it, but we will also look at what other allies can do", Hennis said, according to the broadcaster. "Huge investments are being made here."
Dutch banks ING and Amsterdam Trade Bank are listed with 730 other banks as financial institutions that helped Russian criminals launder money, international investigative journalist collaboration OCCRP revealed. A total of 19 billion dollars were laundered through these 732 banks between January 2011 and October 2014, according to the group, AD reports.
While the outcome of the Dutch parliamentary elections next week may not be of vital interest to Russia, Russian hackers are targeting the Netherlands as a warm up for the elections in Germany and France, Ronald Prins, co-founder of cyber security company Fox-IT, said to DW.com.
The state of the Dutch armed forces is extremely worrying, according to advisory council on international affairs AIV in an advice report to the cabinet titled 'Russia and the Dutch defense efforts'. According to the report, the "employability of the armed forces was further undermined this government term" and if the policy is not changed, the basic readiness of the army will only be back in order in 2021, NU.nl reports.
The Ukraine and Russia are facing off in a lawsuit filed by the Ukraine at the international Court of Justice in The Hague from today. Kiev wants the ICJ to condemn "Russian aggression" and order the country to pay compensation for all "fatal events", including the downing of flight MH17 in 2014, AD reports.
Last year Dutch and British intelligence services, and other United States allies, warned Washington that people close to Russian president Vladimir Putin was in contact with people around then presidential candidate Donald Trump, the New York Times reports based on a number of sources who worked in the White House during the Obama regime.
According to the newspaper, several of these White House employees put effort into spreading this information among American politicians, because they were afraid that Trump would cover everything up once he was in power.
There is no evidence that there are still human remains on the site where flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said on Thursday. His Ministry studies all photos and statements made by Dutch journalist Michel Spekkers, who brought back a piece of bone and other items found at the crash site in January. The bone fragment belonged to one of the MH17 victims.
An Amsterdam artist's sculpture for the academic hospital in Leiden has become an internet sensation in Russia. It seems that the monster statue - a gray blob with the head of a sea elephant waiting for a seat with its hands patiently folded - perfectly embodies the Russian 'waiting' culture, a leftover from the communist era during which almost all goods had to be waited for, Het Parool reports.
Dutch intelligence service AIVD is very concerned about increasing cyber attacks on the Netherlands by countriees like Russia, China and Iran, AIVD director Rob Bertholee said in an interview with EenVandaag. He calls these attacks a threat to democracy.
Over the past six months the Netherlands fought off hundreds of hacking attempts, Bertholee said. Among the targets were secret government documents. And according to the AIVD boss, it is clear that Russia was behind many of the attacks.
Relatives of MH17 victims are shocked by a letter to American president Donald Trump asking him to start an independent investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The letter was written by candidate parliamentarian Thierry Baudet and 25 others, the Volkskrant reports. The MH17 survivors say they want no part in these "propaganda theories".
Dutch business executive Peter Wakkie was not exactly surprised when he was arrested at Madrid airport in Spain on Monday. "I saw it coming", he said in a telephonic interview with Financieele Dagblad on Thursday. Wakkie was arrested as part of an investigation into a criminal organization, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud, a spokesperson for the Spanish police confirmed to the newspaper.
Dutch lawyer and business executive Peter Wakkie, who was arrested in Spain on Monday, was released from custody. Wakkie was arrested on Monday morning and released at 00:30 a.m. on Tuesday, after the Spanish authorities were through with questioning him, a spokesperson for the businessman in the Netherlands said to ANP after making contact with the man.
Dutch lawyer and former ABN Amro Commissioner Peter Wakkie was arrested in Spain, the local police confirmed to NOS. The arrest has to do with accusations against his business partner about paying bribes to members of the Russian government through the two's company Zed+, according to the broadcaster.
Security experts in the United States are convinced that the Netherlands will be targeted by Russian hackers in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in March, like the American Democratic Party was during the U.S. elections, NOS reports. "The Dutch government is very, very alert", Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said to the broadcaster. "I have no concrete evidence that this is the case, but I am not naive."
The European Summit in Brussels today is expected to be a tense one. One of the main items on the agenda is the fact that the Netherlands still has not ratified the association agreement with the Ukraine, the only EU country not to do so. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will try get his fellow EU leaders to accept a set of amendments to the deal, with which he hopes he can convince Dutch parliament to ratify the agreement.
The court in Amsterdam ruled on Wednesday that the Allard Pierson Museum in the city must return treasures from four Crimea museums to the Ukraine. The lawsuit was filed by the four Crimea museums as well as the state of Ukraine, AT5 reports.
The Crimea museums loaned hundreds of artifacts to the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in 2014 for an exhibition titled Crimea - Gold and secrets of the Black Sea.
The Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) called upon Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte to push through ratification of a European Union agreement with the Ukraine. The deal, rejected by Dutch voters in a non-binding referendum, includes policy on energy, economics, labour rights and free travel across borders.