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Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima meet Putin
(8 Nov 2013) Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima arrived in Russia on Friday for a visit that aimed to celebrate the two
nations' historical ties but comes as relations between them have soured.
The royal couple were welcomed to the Kremlin by President Vladimir Putin late on Friday.
Observers said the Dutch royals will have to be very diplomatic to avoid adding to the tensions.
The key sticking point of late is Russia's seizure of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship and arrest of all 30 people on board.
The Netherlands has asked an international tribunal to order Russia to release the Arctic Sunrise ship and its crew.
The 28 Greenpeace activists, a Russian photographer and a British videographer have been in custody since the ship was seized September 19 by the Russian coast guard in international waters after a protest near a Gazprom-owned oil rig in the Arctic.
Russian-Dutch relations have also been strained over last month's assault on a Dutch diplomat at his apartment in Moscow.
Russia has expressed regret, but the perpetrators haven't been found.
The attack followed a brief detention of a Russian diplomat in the Netherlands.
The Dutch have also criticised Russian policies they see as anti-gay.
In April, the mayor of Amsterdam refused to meet with Putin during his visit.
And in August, Dutch gay groups protested before a major concert by Russian state musicians and dancers.
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