Dutch, Russian foreign ministers to discuss "sensitivities"

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Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans will speak to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday concerning sensitive issues that recently came up in the bilateral relations, announced Lavrov's spokesperson Friday.

Netherlands and Russia are celebrating a year of friendship and their lucrative economic ties. Unfortunately it is overshadowed by a series of incidents, such as with the gay and environmentalists.

The Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, sailing under Dutch flag, was boarded by the Russian Coast Guard and taken to Murmansk. The crew, among whom two Dutch, are still detained.

Frans_Timmermans,
Habib M’henni
Wikimedia commons

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will pay a brief visit to Russia Friday evening and Saturday to close the festive year. The royal couple will be received on Friday evening in the Kremlin for a dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

An adviser to Putin indicated Friday the King and the president did not intend to discuss current political issues, but will limit themselves to cultural themes. The constitution of  the Netherlands limits the King's ability to deal with political topics.

Willem-Alexander, Màxima, and Putin will probably talk about the closure of the Netherlands-Russia year. Although some incidents have cast a shadow on the end of the year, the festivities as a whole had a grand and positive character, announced the consultant Friday.

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