Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra delivers a joint press conference with his French and Romanian counterparts in Bucharest, Romania, on Jan 27, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
THE HAGUE – The Dutch government announced on Saturday the expulsion of a number of Russian diplomats for alleged espionage.
The Netherlands will not allow more diplomats to work at the Russian Embassy in the Hague than the number of diplomats who work at the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said.
Following the Dutch move, the Russian foreign ministry said it will respond to the decision by the Netherlands to limit the number of its diplomats
About 10 employees of the Russian Embassy will have to leave the Netherlands, he said.
The Russian trade office in Amsterdam will be shut down from Feb 21. In addition, the Dutch consulate-general in St Petersburg will be closed from Feb 20.
The Dutch Embassy in Moscow will remain open, Hoekstra said. "It is important to keep the embassies open as a channel of communication, even now that relations with Russia are more difficult than ever."
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Following the Dutch move, the Russian foreign ministry said it will respond to the decision by the Netherlands to limit the number of its diplomats, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.
In March 2022, the Netherlands expelled 17 Russian diplomats for alleged espionage. In response, Russia then expelled 15 Dutch diplomats.