Comment by the Information and Press Department on the disruption of the visit by deputies of the Second Chamber of the States General of the Netherlands to Moscow
Moscow is not particularly surprised by the decision of the Second Chamber of the States General of the Netherlands to cancel another trip to Russia citing entry restrictions on Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, a Democrats 66 party representative. The Hague interprets the situation as if it was precisely this circumstance that created an insurmountable obstacle to the parliamentary delegation’s visit to Russia.
In this regard, we deem it necessary to clarify that the Dutch side was informed in advance that Sjoerdsma’s inclusion in the group that planned to visit Russia on February 25−27, 2020, at the invitation of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, was undesirable. This was done on January 14, at the Russian Foreign Ministry, during the meeting with the Dutch charge d'affaires to Russia. The Dutch deputy in question is known to be not only unfriendly to Russia, but also openly aggressive – his statements concerning our country verge on insults. In 2013, he called for the termination of the Year of Russia in the Netherlands and the Netherlands in Russia. In 2014, he demanded a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics, and in 2018, he called for the FIFA World Cup to be moved to another country. In the context of investigating the circumstances of the Malaysian MH17 crash, he emphatically and rudely insisted, contrary to common sense and legal procedures, on “punishing” Russia right away.
It is now clear what the Dutch MPs were counting on when deciding to include Sjoerdsma in their delegation. Despite our warnings, they carried out this deliberate provocation in full awareness of the possible consequences. They sought a scandal rather than a constructive discussion on ways to improve Russian-Dutch relations and on issues regarding the international agenda.
Having cancelled their trip to Moscow under the pretext of “deputy solidarity” considerations, the Dutch authorities are now reverting to the old routine of blaming Russia for disrupting the parliamentary visit.
Apparently, The Hague had no interest in this visit or any attempts at direct contact between the two countries' elected representatives, which would have been the first since 2008.
This is nothing new, as we have repeatedly remarked. The Dutch Foreign Ministry is following the same old Strategy on Russia.