Moscow has decided to expel two employees of the Dutch embassy in Moscow as a response to similar actions taken by Amsterdam, TASS reported.
“On January 18, acting charge d’affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Joost Reintjes was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was communicated a resolute protest in light of a groundless declaration of two staffers of the Russian embassy in the Netherlands as personae non gratae in December 2020 for alleged activities incompatible with their diplomatic status,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. “The Dutch embassy representative was told that the Russian side was guided by the principle of reciprocity in its decision to expel two diplomatic employees of the Dutch embassy in Moscow from Russia. They are to leave Russia within two weeks.”
The ministry underlined that the Dutch authorities “resorted to their favorite move of putting forward unfounded and slanderous accusations.” “This hostile and provocative step as well as more anti-Russian hysteria whipped up by The Hague using the pro-government media showed that the Dutch government circles lack common sense and understanding of real problems in Russian-Dutch relations and also the fact that the trend to deliberately undermine their basis continues,” the Russian diplomatic agency stressed.
In December 2020, the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service accused two Russian diplomats of spying in the country. According to Dutch media, local secret services believe that the diplomats were working for intelligence services, collecting information in the high-tech sphere, particularly about AI, semiconductors and nanotechnologies.