Willem-Alexander and Màxima visit Putin

The Russian President Vladimir Putin will welcome King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima  Friday, November 8.The news was announced by the Government Information Service Tuesday. The head of state and his wife will be in Russia next week for the conclusion of the Netherlands-Russia Year.

Holger Motzkau
Wikimedia commons

Until now it was unclear whether the king and queen would meet President Putin. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said earlier this month a possible meeting was still in the works.

At a ceremony for new ambassadors last week, Putin said he was looking forward to the visit of the king. He referred to the successful business and cultural events of the Netherlands-Russia year. He also mentioned Netherlands as one of their most important trade and investment partners.

The government wants to use the visit of the king to emphasize the good relations between the countries, despite the diplomatic tensions of the past few weeks. Earlier, Rutte would not disclose the part the King would play in this.

Tempers ran high between the Netherlands and Russia on a series of issues. For example, in The Hague, a Russian diplomat was arrested, while Russia boarded a Greenpeace ship, sailing  under Dutch flag.

Besides a visit to Putin, King Willem-Alexander and Máxima queen will attend a concert by the Royal Concert Orchestra in Moscow next Saturday.