Rutte denies deal with Russia on Sochi delegation

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that no deal was signed between the Netherlands and Russia for the heavyweight Sochi delegation and the release of Greenpeace activists.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte / Wikipedia

Last week, Rutte told reporters in a weekly press conference that he along with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and sports minister Edith Schippers will represent the Netherlands in the Sochi games.

On Tuesday, Rutte said there is no link between Dutch delegation for Sochi and the release of two Dutch Greenpeace activists by Russia, BNR reported.

The Rutte’s decision to attend the games drew a wave of opposition from gay rights groups and many politicians.

Talking in a current affairs show Nieuwsuur on Sunday, Diederik Samsom, a leader of Labour Party, said that Rutte should not go to Russia to represent the Netherlands in Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Rutte has no plan to make changes to Sochi delegation. He has promised to discuss the gay rights issues with President Vladimir Putin and to meet with gay organisations in Russia.

Rutte said the government believes that it is better to engage in dialogue. “We do not support a boycott of Sochi games,” he said last week.