Russians can't apply for Dutch visas after diplomats' expulsion
Russian citizens can no longer apply for a visa for the Netherlands at the Dutch embassy in Moscow from Wednesday. This is not a punitive measure, but a consequence of the Russian government's decision to expel 15 Dutch diplomats from the country, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As a result, there are too few diplomats left to run the embassy's consular affairs department at full capacity. Short-stay visas can therefore no longer be issued. Exceptions are possible on serious humanitarian grounds. For example, if someone has to leave the country for political reasons.
An average of 150 Russians apply for a visa for a short stay in the Netherlands per week at the embassy, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry. It is unclear how long the measure will remain in effect. Although the consular department is working at a limited capacity, the embassy is still open for integration documents and other matters.
The expulsion of Dutch diplomats was a retaliatory measure by the Russian government after the Netherlands had shown 17 Russian diplomats the door at the end of March. They were secretly active as intelligence officers, according to the Dutch government. The Cabinet decided to expel the diplomats because the group posed a threat to national security.
Reporting by ANP