Timmermans: King can visit Russia
For now Minister Timmermans thinks King Willem-Alexander should proceed with his plans to visit Russia next month, he states in Nieuwsuur Wednesday night. The visit on November 9th is part of the Netherlands-Russia year. The abuse of a Dutch diplomat Tuesday evening in Russia, caused commotion about the continuation of the year-of-friendship between the two countries. With that, the King's visit also seemed to become uncertain.
There are certainly arguments for re-evaluating the visit, but for now there is no reason to do so. The facts need to be thoroughly considered and everyone involved should be consulted, according to Timmermans in Nieuwsuur.
Thursday there will be a parliamentary debate about the mistreatment of the diplomat. It is too early to demand an apology from Russia. The perpetrators are still unknown. That should have priority before anybody apologizes. It is not uncommon for diplomats to deal with crime, according to Timmermans.
The minister would not say whether he again demanded the release of the two Dutch Greenpeace activists detained in Russia, yesterday in the telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Lavrov. Because of the arbitration that Netherlands has instituted, Timmermans opted to keep on the plain.
He did assure the matter has his full and continuous attention, also in discussion with his Russian colleague.