Brick thrown through Russian supermarket’s windows; Unacceptable, A’dam mayor says
The Russian invasion of Ukraine also has tensions running high in the Netherlands. The owners of supermarket Priwet Rossia on Vijzelgracht in Amsterdam went to open their store on Monday to find that someone had smashed their windows with a brick. Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema called the attack unacceptable. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also called on Netherlands residents to "immediately" stop harassing Russian people in the country.
The store owner told NL Times on Tuesday morning that he could not comment because he was at the police station to press charges.
Speaking to Het Parool, owner Arthur Badaljan said that he's been getting questions and threats since the situation between Russia and Ukraine escalated. People want to know why he sells Russian food products after the country started a war. "But unlike our name suggests, we are not a supermarket with only Russian food. Our offer comes from eleven different Slavic countries: Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Moldova, and indeed Russia. But that is only a very small part."
Mayor Halsema condemned this act of vandalism on Instagram. "We have a problem with Putin and the Russian State, not with the Russian population or the Russian people of Amsterdam. Like Ukrainians, they can count on our protection. This war must not lead to discrimination."
Prime Minister Rutte gave a similar statement on Tuesday, saying that he is increasingly hearing reports of "verbal abuse or even worse" against Russian people and businesses in the Netherlands. "I strongly reject that," he said according to ANP. "We are in conflict with Putin and his government, not with Russians and certainly not with Russians in the Netherlands."
Priwet Rossia remains open despite the smashed windows. "We work, and we continue to work. We hope that the war will be over soon so that we can put this behind us too," Badaljan said to the newspaper.