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Netherlands postpones mission to Russia

Staff writer |
The Netherlands has postponed a four-day trade mission to Russia planned for next month because of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and increased tensions in eastern Ukraine.

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The three-day mission, scheduled for May 13, had intended to focus on energy and would have brought together high level government officials and corporate executives from both countries. The Dutch have been looking to expand economic ties with Russia, a big export market where the Netherlands is already a leading investor.

"(The mission) has been postponed. The cabinet made the decision today, based on recent developments in Ukraine, particularly in the east of the country," the Dutch Foreign Ministry said Wednesday in a statement. It set no new date for the trip.

"The European Union is reviewing its ties with Russia. "A successful mission under the current circumstances is not possible," Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said.

The EU imposed travel bans and asset freezes on a group of Russian officials after Moscow's annexation of Crimea and has threatened to expand the sanctions if the crisis escalates.

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