Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs does not rule out that in the future the Netherlands will also hold Ukraine accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster. "There is no concrete legal ground for this, but the cabinet does not rule anything out", he said in a parliamentary debate on the government's decision to hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight, NU.nl reports.
"When it comes to establishing the truth and accountability for what happened to MH17, no single state has the right to remain silent", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, NOS reports.
On Monday Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will explain the Netherlands and Australia's decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of flight MH17 to a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He is counting on unanimous support from the European Union on this decision, sources told newspaper AD.
"The disaster with MH17 is a black page in our history", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after the Council of Ministers on Friday. He cut a trade mission to India short to discuss the interim results of the investigation into the disaster with the Council of Ministers. "We won't exclude any legal steps", the Dutch Prime Minster said, NU.nl reports.
The BUK missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine in July 2014 belonged to the 53rd brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, the Joint Investigation Team revealed on Thursday. Russia denies this, NU.nl reports.
According to Russia, no Russian missile installation ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense says it had nothing to do with the downing of flight MH17.
The Netherlands and Australia hold Russia accountable for "its share in the downing of flight MH17". Both countries informed Russia about this step, the Dutch government announced in a statement on Friday.
The missile that shot down flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 came from the Russian Armed Forces, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) revealed at a press conference on Thursday morning. The question of who shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight was not answered on Thursday.
The Dutch government will stop using Russian anti-virus software from Kaspersky Lab out of concern that the Kremlin might use it for espionage, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
Anti-virus software has in-depth access to ICT systems to combat viruses, Grapperhaus explained. Because of this extensive access "there is a risk of digital espionage and sabotage at the central government and the Dutch vital infrastructure", he wrote to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan turned himself in on Monday to serve a 30 day long prison sentence he got for lying to the FBI in Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. Van der Zwaan is the first person to be sentenced in this investigation, Politico reports.
Van der Zwaan reported to a low-security facility in Pennsylvania. He is set to be released on June 4th, according to the newspaper.
The Public Prosecutor is investigating the involvement of seven Dutch companies in the construction of a bridge from Russia to Crimea. Due to EU sanctions against Russia, Dutch companies were not allowed to help build that bridge, NU.nl reports.
Belgium extradited 58-year-old Dutch man Guido W. to Russia on Tuesday. He is suspected of being a leader in one of the world's largest drug cartels, and of trafficking tons of cocaine from Latin America via Russian ports to Western Europe, AD reports.
Russia plans to bring 17 Syrian people, who were seen on footage of a believed poison gas attack in Douma, to the Netherlands. These people seen dying in the footage are alive and well, and in this way Russia wants to "unmask" the "unforgivable lies" over the incident, Alexander Shulgin, Russian ambassador to the OPWC, said to British news sender ITV News.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) made sure all Dutch government organizations are aware of a warning issued by the American and British security services about Russian state hackers targeting network equipment. The NCSC, which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Security, takes this warning seriously and advises all Dutch organizations to check their network equipment for erroneous configurations, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS reports.
There is no new Cold War between the West and Russia on the way, but finding "common ground" remains a challenge, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Friday. The Russians reaffirmed their cooperation in prosecuting those responsible for the MH17 disaster, he added, ANP reports.
Blok emphasized that, especially in difficult times like these, it is important that Europe and Russia stay in conversation with each other.
The prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster is the first subject Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Friday. The Dutch Minister will also ask Russia to contribute to stopping the conflict in Syria, first of all by making a cease fire possible so that humanitarian aid can get to the people in the war-torn country, NOS reports.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense understands why the United States is threatening military action in Syria following what is believed to be a poison gas attack in Douma. "If diplomatic, economical and political measures are insufficient, the Netherlands understands a proportional military action in Syria", she said to Nieuwsuur.
On Wednesday the Hague is the scene of diplomatic talks about a poison gas attack on Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England last month. Russia requested the talks after the country proposed a joint investigation into the attack and Great Britain called it "perverse", RTL Nieuws reports.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold will not be prosecuted for a remark he made about Russians. His remark does not constitute group insult and is not punishable, the Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday.
Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan is the first person to be convicted in Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the United States presidential election. The court in Washington sentenced him to 30 days in prison and fined him 20 thousand dollars for lying to the FBI in this investigation, ANP reports.
Russia is deporting two Dutch diplomats in retaliation for the Netherlands doing the same to two Russian diplomats, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Dutch ambassador Renee Jones-Bos on Friday, RTL Nieuws reports.
"I just heard that two highly esteemed colleagues are being deported. It is a blow, but the embassy can continue to function", Jones-Bos said after leaving the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Netherlands is deporting two Russian diplomats to show solidarity with the United Kingdom following a poison gas attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England. Relatives of people who died in the MH17 disaster are upset that the Dutch government is doing so now, but did not send Russian diplomats away after the Malaysia airlines flight was shot down.
Vladyslav Voloshyn, an Ukrainian military pilot blamed by Russia for shooting down flight MH17, has died. He was killed by gunshots, Ukrainian media report, quoting the local police.
According to Ukrainian media outlet NikVesti, the 29-year-old pilot committed suicide in his apartment in Mykolaiv while his family was at home. They heard a gunshot and called the emergency services. Voloshyn was rushed to hospital, but died of his injuries. Rumors of assassination since the report was published alternately accuse both Russia and Ukraine of pulling the trigger.
More and more countries are active in the increasingly complex fields of digital espionage and -sabotage, the Dutch general intelligence and security service AIVD warns in its annual report for 2017. The Netherlands is an interesting target for digital espionage because of its position as an international hub and as a member of the EU, NATO and this year also the UN Security Council, NOS reports.