The number of Russian diplomats who can work at the embassy in the Netherlands will be limited, Reuters reported , citing a statement by Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra. “A number of diplomats must leave the country within two weeks,” the Foreign Minister said, without specifying what specific number they are talking about.
It is only noted that the number of employees in the Russian embassy in The Hague should no longer exceed the number of Dutch diplomats working in Moscow.
It is also reported that by February 20, the Netherlands will close its consulate in St. Petersburg. And by February 21, the Dutch government ordered the closure of the Russian trade office in Amsterdam.
“Russia continues to try to smuggle intelligence agents into the Netherlands under the guise of diplomacy. We cannot and will not allow this,” Hoekstra said. At the same time, Russian authorities are denying visas to Dutch diplomats, he said, leaving the embassy in Moscow and the consulate in St. Petersburg short of staff.
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Netherlands expelled 17 Russian intelligence agents from the country. Moscow responded by expelling 14 Dutch diplomats, after which the Netherlands stopped issuing short-term visas to Russians.