Dutch king visits Russia amid chill in ties

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2013 12:21 PM
Dutch king visits Russia amid chill in ties

MOSCOW (AP) — Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima have arrived in Russia on a visit that comes amid heightened tensions between the two nations.

The royal visit that began Friday wraps up a year of events intended to encourage closer economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

But their relations have soured over several issues, including Russia's seizure of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship and arrest of all 30 people on board.

The Netherlands has asked an international tribunal for the release of the Arctic Sunrise and its crew.

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The 28 Greenpeace activists, a Russian photographer and a British videographer have been in custody since the ship was seized by the Russian coast guard after a protest near a Gazprom-owned Arctic Circle oil rig on Sept. 18.