Dutch PM discussed MH17 with Putin at G20 summit

Mark Rutte, January 2016
Mark Rutte, January 2016. (Photo: EU2016 NL / Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Mark Rutte used the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg this weekend to speak with Russian president Vladimir Putin about the MH17 disaster and the decision to under Dutch law, NOS reports.

Putin was seated behind Rutte during a performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony. Afterwards Rutte took the opportunity to speak with Putin. The two made arrangements that the Dutch ambassador in Moscow will keep Putin informed about developments around the MH17 investigation. "That means that the Netherlands is doing its utmost to ensure that Russia, like other involved countries, is kept up to date with the latest state of affairs", Rutte said in Hamburg on Saturday.

Rutte also wanted to make clear that the Netherlands has no political motives around the MH17 investigation. "", he said according to NOS. He couldn't say how Putin reacted. But according to Rutte, it is always good when government leaders speak personally about this kind of sensitive topic.

The Dutch Prime Minister did not seek out Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the summit. Last week the government decided to speak at a meeting in Apeldoorn on Tuesday. Rutte said that the is currently so bad that a conversation between the leaders is too risky. If such a conversation ends badly, the situation will only worsen, he believes, according to the broadcaster.

The Netherlands was able to attend the G20 summit for the f at the invitation of German chancellor Angela Merkel. On Facebook Rutte wrote that a broad range of topics were discussed, including international trade, sustainable development and migration. "We must continue to work on a fair system of international trade that everyone can benefit from. We also agreed that we share a joint responsibility for energy and climate. Climate change does not stop at the borders", he wrote. 

"For the Netherlands, the G20 was a great opportunity to talk about subjects that are important to us as an internationally-orientated country, with one of the world's most open economies", Rutte said.